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Kremlin Announces Meeting on Syria to Take Place Between Putin, Trump

Moscow hails phone call between leaders as constructive and 'business-like,' with the Russian president also urging caution on U.S. policy toward North Korea, Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reports
Kremlin Announces Meeting on Syria to Take Place Between Putin, Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed in a phone call on Tuesday to try to meet in July and work together to try to strengthen a shaky cease-fire in Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin, which called the talks between Putin and Trump business-like and constructive, said the two leaders had emphasized coordinating their actions to fight international terrorism.

On North Korea, the Kremlin said Putin called for restraint and that the two leaders had agreed to work together to make diplomatic progress there too.

Both men also spoke in favor of organizing a face-to-face meeting around the time of the G-20 summit in Hamburg in July, according to the Kremlin statement.

For its part, the White House said the two leaders agreed that “all parties must do all they can to end the violence” in Syria and that Trump and Putin also discussed working together against Islamic State (ISIS) militants throughout the Middle East.

“The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons,” a White House statement said.

Trump’s decision to launch 59 cruise missiles against a Syrian air base on April 4 in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack angered the Russians and led to some bitter exchanges between the two governments.

The White House statement said Washington will send a representative to Syrian cease-fire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday and Thursday.

“They also discussed at length working together to eradicate terrorism throughout the Middle East. Finally, they spoke about how best to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea,” the statement said.

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