Trump, Putin signal new effort to cooperate on Syria

Before meeting Erdoğan, Putin held a telephone discussion with U.S. President Donald Trump on May 2, signaling improving prospects for cooperation in Syria.

A White House statement said the two leaders had discussed such zones "to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons".

The Kremlin said the leaders also agreed in Tuesday's call to try to set up their first in-person meeting in July, on the sidelines of an worldwide summit in Germany.

Trump's phone call with Putin was their first publicly announced conversation since USA missiles hit a Syrian air base last month, a strike that Trump ordered in retaliation for a sarin nerve agent attack believed to have been carried out by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The attacked prompted protests from Assad ally Russian Federation, which blamed Syrian rebels for the use of outlawed nerve gas and said Assad was not at fault. Bilateral cooperation. The two leaders will focus on the current disagreements in trade. It was a reversal from the rhetoric during his campaign, when Trump said he hoped he and Putin could work together in the fight against terrorism.

The Russian strongman said that any agreement on the initiative would have to be hammered out by representatives from Damascus and the opposition now meeting in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

Noting that Russian Federation exports natural gas, coal and oil to Turkey, Erdoğan said that they have also discussed the TurkStream project, which includes two lines transported from the Black Sea - one through Turkey and the other directly to Europe.

Candidate Trump had also expressed a desire for a United States alliance with Russian Federation to fight Islamist militants, a goal that has been elusive since he took office on January 20.

The Kremlin characterized the call as "business-like" and "constructive". Such zones are meant to be areas where civilians can live without being targeted by any party in Syria's war.

The U.S. has long sought Moscow's help in Syria, where the civil war has created a vacuum for the Islamic State and other extremist groups. Everyone knows Russia's position - Assad's fate should be decided by the people of Syria at the elections, not by third forces. The Russian head of state has called for restraint and reduce tensions level.

The new proposal by Russian Federation is the latest attempt by key powerbroker Moscow to breathe life into stalled peace negotiations after its military might turned the conflict in favour of leader Bashar Assad.

"In the first months of the year we have seen moderate growth in trade, about three percent", he noted. USA intelligence agencies have assessed that Russian Federation was behind the hacking.

Meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Putin said that the creation of the so-called security zones would be hard to implement without USA participation.

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