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Russia Attempts to Discuss Syrian Crisis in Possible Putin, Trump Summit

Russia Attempts to Discuss Syrian Crisis in Possible Putin, Trump Summit

Sunday, 5 November, 2017 - 13:00
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump may discuss a Syria settlement at an Asian economic summit in Vietnam next week, the RIA news agency reported on Saturday.

A Syria settlement “is being discussed” for the agenda of a possible meeting between the two presidents, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA, adding it was in their common interest to have enough time to discuss the issue.

“Somehow or another it requires cooperation,” Peskov said.

The Kremlin on Friday said talks were under way to set up an encounter at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam, from November 8 till 10.

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance and significance for all international matters of any contact between the presidents of Russia and the United States,” Peskov said.

Russia accuses US forces in Syria almost every day. The latest of which was on Friday when Hmeymim Air Base held a US base accountable in al-Tanf for refusing to assist refugees injured in a skirmish near the al-Rukban camp for internally displaced persons.

Washington, for its part, refused the accusations and the US Department of State said that Russia’s statements were not true.

It stressed that throughout the conflict, the United State has provided tangible and operational assistance to the United Nations teams operating at al-Rukban camp to help refugees.

The State Department pointed out that Washington has informed the Russian side of its willingness to assist in the transfer of humanitarian aid, but the Syrian regime has obstructed those efforts.

It called on Russia to focus on exerting pressure on the Syrian regime to allow the arrival of UN convoys loaded with humanitarian aid to the camp.

“Moscow is concerned about the accumulation of a large number of disagreements with Washington over the Syrian issue, not only limited to the race on the ground to control the Syrian areas rich in natural resources but also include aspects affecting the prospects for a settlement, the future situation in Syria and its implications for regional security,” said an informed source.

“Given the critical phase in the Syrian crisis, the search for ways of cooperation between Moscow and Washington in various aspects of the Syrian file, for the current and the coming stages, will be the focus of any US-Russian talks, including the Putin and Trump talks,” the source added.

He noted that Russia is currently seeking to organize a broad Syrian dialogue through a conference proposed by Putin.

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