Trump, Putin Meet to Discuss Anti-ISIS Efforts in Syria

Russia's President Putin and US President Trump

U.S. President Donald J. Trump met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the margins of the APEC conference in Da Nang, Vietnam, to discuss efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Syria, according to a joint statement released by the two leaders on Saturday.

“The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both U.S. and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved,” the statement, released by the U.S. Department of State said.

The leaders agreed the conflict in Syria cannot be resolved militarily, and underscored the importance of de-escalation areas in the country as an interim step to reduce violence.

In addition, Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin welcomed the Memorandum of Principles concluded on November 8 between Jordan, Russia, and the United States.

“This Memorandum reinforces the success of the ceasefire initiative, to include the reduction, and ultimate elimination, of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area to ensure a more sustainable peace. Monitoring this ceasefire arrangement will continue to take place through the Amman Monitoring Center, with participation by expert teams from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Russian Federation, and the United States,” the statement said.