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Russian and US presidents discuss Syrian crisis — Kremlin

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump have discussed military operation against terrorists in Syria

MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Donald Trump of the US, who had arranged a telephone conversation, discussed the pressing aspects of the Syrian problem with accounts of the completing military operation against terrorists in Syria, the Kremlin press service said.

 The presidents expressed satisfaction with the conversation that the Kremlin press service called "businesslike and meaningful".

"Putin stressed readiness to facilitate a durable political settlement process in Syria on the basis of the UN Security Council's Resolution 2254 in the spirit of agreements reached in the Astana format and provisions of the Joint Statement the two Presidents endorsed on November 11 at the APEC summit in Vietnam," the report said.

"The sides stated among other things that the statement had produced an encouraging reaction in the Middle East," it said.

The interlocutors also mentioned the importance of maintaining Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. This should be done in the groundwork of principles to be mapped out in the course of pan-Syrian negotiations and Russia's initiative for convening the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi later this year targets exactly this objective, it said.

Putin informed Trump on the results of the November 20 meeting with President Bashar al-Assad, in the course of which the Syrian leader confirmed commitment to the political process, the constitutional reform, presidential and parliamentary election.

In addition to it, emphasis was made on the trilateral talks that the Presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey are supposed to hold in Sochi on November 22. The three Vladimir Putin, Tayyip Recept Erdogan, and Hassan Rouhani plan to coordinate step towards further normalization in Syria, the press service said.

On a broader plane, Putin once again spoke in favor launching further efforts together with the U.S. to rebuff terrorism. The Russian President noted practical importance of coordinated steps between the two countries’ intelligence services and Trump supported him.

The presidents also discussed the situation around North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear program, the Kremlin press service reports.

The sides "also exchanged opinions on the situation on the Korean peninsula, stressing the expedience of search for the settlement of the problem through negotiations, diplomatically," the press service said in a report.

"The leaders touched upon the situation in Afghanistan, which raises concerns in view of growing terrorist and drug threats. They also discussed the situation around Iran’s nuclear program," the report said. It said the Russian side emphasized commitment "to a full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - a major factor in ensuring regional stability and settlement of the problem of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction".


White House reaction

According to the White House press service, the conversation lasted for more than one hour and focused on reconciliation in Syria and Ukraine, the North Korean nuclear issue and fight against terrorism.

"The presidents affirmed their support for the Joint Statement of the United States and the Russian Federation, issued at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit on November 11," the press service said in a statement.

"Both presidents also stressed the importance of implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254, and supporting the U.N.-led Geneva Process to peacefully resolve the Syrian civil war, end the humanitarian crisis [in this Arab country], allow displaced Syrians to return home, and ensure the stability of a unified Syria free of malign intervention and terrorist safe havens," the statement reads.

"The two presidents affirmed the importance of fighting terrorism together throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and agreed to explore ways to further cooperate in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda [terrorist groups, outlawed in Russia - TASS], the [radical Islamist movement of] Taliban, and other terrorist organizations," the statement continues.

President Trump and President Putin also discussed how to implement "a lasting peace in Ukraine," and "the need to continue international pressure on North Korea" to halt its nuclear weapon and missile programs.


Trump says he had "great call" with Putin

Trump described the conversation with Putin as a "great call."

"We had a great call with President Putin. We're talking about peace in Syria - very important. We're talking about North Korea," the US leader told reporters before his departure to Florida.