By Emre Gurkan Abay
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on the phone about Wednesday’s trilateral meeting on Syria between Russia, Turkey and Iran, a Kremlin statement said on Tuesday.
The trilateral meeting on Syria between Turkey, Russia and Iran is to be held in the Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday.
The two leaders, who met repeatedly last week on the sidelines of a summit in Vietnam, also discussed military operations in Syria that are about to come to an end, the statement said.
The White House separately said Trump and Putin had stressed the importance of implementing a UN Security Council road map for the Syrian peace process, and supporting the UN-led Geneva process during their conversation, which lasted over an hour.
"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, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations," it added in a statement.
The Kremlin statement also said Putin and Trump agreed on preserving the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Syria.
Putin also informed Trump about the meeting he had with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Wednesday’s trilateral meeting about Syria also topped Putin’s phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, another Kremlin statement said, adding, Sisi thanked Putin for Russia’s role in attempting to find a solution to the crisis in Syria.
Putin and Netanyahu also discussed de-escalation zones in northern Syria, it added.
Putin also phoned Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and discussed the latest efforts on achieving a long-term peace in Syria.
Russian president said that the upcoming National Dialogue Conference in Sochi would "undoubtedly give an impetus to intra-Syrian contacts and the entire process of resolving the Syrian problem, and will encourage work under the aegis of the UN in Geneva."
Putin expressed his hope that the meeting of the Syrian opposition in Riyadh on November 22–24 would also serve this purpose.
*Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington