President Donald Trump had a “very good” telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Tuesday about the ongoing conflict in Syria and the escalating tension with North Korea, the White House said.
The two leaders spoke of implementing safety zones in Syria to help quell the violence, agreeing that it had gone on for too long, and “that all parties must do all they can to end the violence.”
Although Trump and Putin have praised each other frequently and the FBI has confirmed it is investigating possible collusion between the two camps during the 2016 election, tensions between the two countries hit a high last month after a chemical attack in Syria killed over 80 people, including children. The White House blamed Russia-backed Syrian President Bashar-al Assad for the attack. Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have condemned the use of chemical weapons
“Assad has no incentive to stop using chemical weapons as long as Russia continues to protect his regime from consequences,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said last month after the attack. “If Russia has the influence in Syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it. We need to see them put an end to these horrific acts. How many more children have to die before Russia cares?”
Cease-fire talks regarding the conflict will be held in Kazakhstan starting May 3, and the White House will send representation.
On North Korea, the White House said the the two spoke about the best way to resolve the escalating situation after he country conducted several missile tests. A readout from the Kremlin however, said that Putin called for restraint, Reuters reports.
The readout from the Kremlin also reported the two leaders were planning a face-to-face meeting at the G20 summit in Germany this summer, according to Reuters.