SYRIA: De-escalation zones chance for rebels to reconcile, says Assad

Trevor Jackson
May 14, 2017

Trump "also raised the possibility of broader cooperation on resolving conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere", the readout said. "We're going to stop the killing and the death (in Syria)".

Syrian rebels have ruled out respecting the safe zones, though Russia, Turkey, Iran, and the Syrian government will respect them.

The White House said in a readout of their meeting that Trump "emphasised the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria, in particular, underscoring the need for Russian Federation to rein in the Assad regime, Iran, and Iranian proxies".

Trump insisted that Russian Federation needs to "rein in the Assad regiime, Iran, and Iranian proxies" in Syria, which suggests his shift toward calling for regime change in Syria when he attacked a Syrian airbase last month appears largely unchanged.

Putin said after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi last week that he had secured Trump's backing for the plan to establish safe zones.

"I think that we are going to do very well with respect to Syria, I think things are happening - they are really, really, really positive", Trump said.

Syrian President Bashar Assad managed to turn the tide of war in his favor after Russian Federation started an air campaign in September 2015, while Iran is an uncompromising supporter of the Syrian leader.

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The primary objective of de-escalation is supposed to be to allow humanitarian aid to flow through to civilians.

Over the past six years, the United States and Russian Federation have sparred several times over the Syrian conflict, especially concerning Assad's fate, but have failed to manage a solution to end it.

Washington has given the deal a skeptical welcome, citing concerns about Tehran's role as a guarantor even as it expressed hope the agreement could set the stage for a later settlement. "So we'll look at the proposal and see if it can work".

On the conflict in Ukraine, the White House said Trump had "stressed Russia's responsibility to fully implement the Minsk agreements".

It brings together the eight countries bordering the Arctic Ocean - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the US.

Tillerson and Lavrov's meeting in Alaska comes 150 years after Washington purchased the USA state from Moscow.

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