Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Syria: Trump urges Moscow to rein in Assad, Iran

Syria: Trump urges Moscow to rein in Assad, Iran

Mr. Trump said this as he hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House, a day after he sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, who was leading the probe into Russia's meddling in the polls that brought him to power.

Neither Washington, which backs the opposition, nor Moscow, a longtime ally of the Syrian regime, have managed to find a solution to the conflict.

"The president further emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russian Federation", the readout concluded.

Russia's proposal for zones took effect last week, covering areas in the west of the country.

Last week, Assad's supporters Moscow and Iran and Turkey, which supports the rebels, agreed to create security zones in Syria in a move to allow assistance to reach displaced populations and to reinforce the ceasefire agreement reached in December.

Trump described his talks with Lavrov as "very, very good".

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White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster has also warned Russian Federation against what he described as "Russia's disruptive behavior".

The US State Department said that "on Syria, the secretary intends to discuss efforts to de-escalate violence, provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and set the stage for a political settlement of the conflict".

A USA role in the successful creation of the safe zones and, eventually, in the resolution of the Syrian conflict is just as important as that of Russian Federation, and the fact that Moscow now is in charge of the situation in Syria should not preclude such role.

The State Department added: "Sanctions on Russian Federation will remain in place until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered them".

After talks Wednesday the two diplomats will again meet Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska for the Arctic Council meeting, an intergovernmental forum for cooperation on the environment, oil and mining, shipping, fisheries and tourism.

It brings together the eight countries bordering the Arctic Ocean - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States.

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