Kremlin Reveals What Putin, Trump Discussed Over the Phone

Kremlin Reveals What Putin, Trump Discussed Over the Phone

According to the White House's readout, the two leaders discussed the use of safe zones "to achieve lasting peace" in Syria.

In their second conversation since January, Trump and Putin also discussed violence in Syria, the threat of North Korea and Middle East terrorism in what the White House characterized in its 124-word synopsis as a "very good" conversation. The White House did not report many details about that conversation, beyond saying that Putin and Trump discussed "how to best resolve the very unsafe situation".

While Trump came into office praising Putin and vowing to improve Russian-US relations, the two countries found themselves at odds last month after the chemical attack killed more than 80 civilians and US forces responded with a missile strike on the Syrian air base reportedly used to launch the nerve agent assault.

"The conversation was businesslike and constructive", the Kremlin said in a statement.

"I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there's nothing I can think of that I'd rather do than have Russian Federation friendly, as opposed to the way they are right now, so that we can go and knock out ISIS with other people", he said in July 2016.

Last month, on the same day Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat down with Putin in Moscow, Trump himself said the US was "not getting along with Russian Federation at all".

In her first official visit to Russian Federation last week, European Union foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, insisted that cooperation between the two sides was "not frozen" but said that progress was hampered by profound disagreements on subjects, including Ukraine and Syria.

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President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for shoring up Syria's frail truce as Russian-led peace talks involving Syrian rebels and regime officials are set to begin on Wednesday in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.

Last month United States air strikes in Syria strained relations between the two countries.

A readout of the talk provided by the Kremlin, however, appeared to go one significant step further, saying that the leaders were likely meet face-to-face at the G20 Summit in Germany in July.

Tuesday's call marked the third time Trump and Putin are known to have talked since the US president took office in January. Tillerson and the United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, also spoke out against Moscow's role in supporting Syria's president, Bashar Assad. Among the sticking points for the two nations are disagreements over Syria, Ukraine, and Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election.

The Tuesday meeting with Merkel that Putin hosted in the Black Sea resort city was described as tense by observers.

Erler rejected a suggestion by Jordan's King Abdullah that the West should accept Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and stop criticizing Moscow to encourage Putin to drop his support for Assad.

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