You are here: Home » Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Feed Subscription

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin ‘agree on Syria,’ brush off election meddling

In a joint statement on Syria, the US president and his Russian counterpart have agreed to fight IS extremists together. At a regional summit, the two leaders also denied claims of Moscow interference in the US election. US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin assured him that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 US election during their discussions on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam. "Every time he sees me, he said: 'I didn't do that.' And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that he means it," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. "He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times," Trump said. He also noted that Putin is "very insulted" by the accusation. Putin also swatted away accusations of election meddling as a US "domestic political struggle", in comments to reporters. "I think these are some sort of fantasies," he said of claims of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Read more: Why is the United States interested in the 'Indo-Pacific'? Informal talks Trump and Putin did not have a formal meeting at the APEC summit, but the two leaders met unofficially several times since late Friday and have even posed for a side-by-side photo. Such a meeting would take place against a fraught background, with some of Trump's key aides under investigation for alleged collaboration with Moscow ahead of the president's win in 2016 elections. US officials may well be anxious to avoid any encounter between the two men that could be seen to reinforce the notion that they are in cahoots in any way. Both the White House and the Kremlin have denied any wrongdoing. Read more: APEC summit: Free trade in Asia in the age of protectionism Democrats creating 'artificial barrier' Trump's also accused US Democrats of standing in the way of a "good relationship" with Russia by accusing Moscow of meddling in the elections. He said Russia's help would be beneficial in "solving" problems with North Korea, Syria and Ukraine, adding that "people will die" because of the Democratic "hit job." Although no top-level formal Moscow-Washington encounter took place in Vietnam, the summit saw a brief meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart Rex Tillerson. Lavrov, when asked to give the details of their talks, said only: "I can but I wouldn't." Agreement on Syria Trump and Putin did issue a statement on Saturday in which they agreed to continue joint efforts to fight the terrorist group "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria until it is completely defeated. The joint statement, published on the Kremlin's website, said that the two leaders also confirmed their commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and called on all warring parties to participate actively in the UN-sponsored peace process in Geneva. According to the text of the statement, Moscow and Washington also agreed that there was no military solution to the conflict, which began in 2011 with peaceful protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has since grown into a multiparty war involving combatants ranging from government forces and "moderate" rebels to Islamist extremists such as IS. Opposing views Russia and the United States have taken different sides in the conflict, with Moscow giving military support to troops of its longtime ally Assad, while Washington until this year backed rebels it considered legitimate in their fight against the Syrian regime. Reports in July 2017 said Trump had ended the clandestine CIA program of support for such rebels. Russia has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria since 2015, when it stepped in to support Assad's rule, tipping the conflict very much in his favor.

In a joint statement on Syria, the US president and his Russian counterpart have agreed to fight IS extremists together. At a regional summit, the two leaders also denied claims of Moscow interference in the US election. US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin assured him that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 ... Read More »

Huntsman takes up Moscow post at a time of historically poor relations

The new US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has presented his diplomatic credentials to Vladimir Putin in Moscow. He takes up the post at an especially contentious time in relations between the two countries. The new United States ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Kremlin ceremony in which the American presented his diplomatic credentials. The 57-year-old statesman and businessman will need all of his diplomatic skills if he is to help repair a relationship his predecessor John Tefft said was at a "low point." Relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, and have been marked by tit-for-tat retaliations that began with US sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and subsequent support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Relations have continually worsened amid accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Read more: Facebook says 10 million US users saw Russia-linked ads Disagreeing with the boss? During his Senate confirmation hearings last week, Huntsman made clear what he thought about the accusations, despite statements by Trump calling them a hoax: "There is no question, underline no question, that the Russian government interfered in the US election last year.” Adding, "Moscow continues to meddle in the democratic processes of our friends and allies.” The billionaire businessman, whose family company has holdings in Russia, will also take up his post with a greatly diminished team after Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered the US to cut staff by two-thirds in July in response to new US sanctions, leaving the US with 755 fewer employees on the ground. Huntsman has promised to confront Russia in addressing human rights abuses and over its actions in Ukraine and Syria. But it would seem that his first order of business may be to defuse a diplomatic row that erupted upon his arrival in Moscow. Russia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced that US authorities had broken into residencies at Russia's San Francisco consulate and threatened retaliation for what Moscow called a hostile and illegal act. Washington ordered Russian staff to vacate the consulate last month as part of the diplomatic tug-of-war. Read more: US orders Russia to close San Francisco consulate An American abroad Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, has served each US president since Ronald Reagan in some capacity. Among other roles, he was the US ambassador to Singapore in 1992-1993 under George H.W. Bush and later Bill Clinton, then ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011 under Barack Obama. Huntsman also served as President George W. Bush's deputy US trade representative, and was the acting chairman of the foreign policy think tank the Atlantic Council when he was tapped by President Donald Trump to take up the Moscow post. In 2012 he ran as a Republican party candidate for the US presidency.

The new US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has presented his diplomatic credentials to Vladimir Putin in Moscow. He takes up the post at an especially contentious time in relations between the two countries. The new United States ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Kremlin ceremony in which the American presented his diplomatic ... Read More »

Syria, Russia to dominate G7 meeting amid questions over US strategy

Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) nations have called on Russia to help end the war in Syria ahead of a meeting in Italy. The gathering comes as tensions rise in the wake of a US airstrike on Syrian forces. The meeting in the Tuscan city of Lucca on Monday will focus on simmering tensions between Russia and the West over the conflict in Syria, just days after US airstrikes on Syrian government forces raised questions about Washington's strategy. Ahead of the meeting, Western leaders condemned the suspected chemical attack on civilians in northwestern Syria last week. "We rededicate ourselves to holding account any and all who commit crimes against the innocents anywhere in the world," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a cermony commemorating victims of a Nazi massacre in Italy on Monday. Read: US-Russian honeymoon turns sour over Syria British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson meanwhile called for Moscow to stop its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "It's time for [Russian President] Vladimir Putin to face the truth about the tyrant he is propping up," Johnson said, according to a foreign ministry spokesperson. "He must understand that Assad is now toxic in every sense. He is poisoning the innocent people of Syria with weapons that were banned 100 years ago - and he is poisoning the reputation of Russia." Moscow condemned last week's strikes by the US, calling them "a flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression." In an interview with ABC, Tillerson called on Russia to follow through with its commitment to remove chemical weapons from Syria. "I think the real failure here has been Russia's failure to live up to its commitments under the chemical weapons agreements that were entered into in 2013," he said. Questions about US policy Though both the EU and the UK came out in support of last week's cruise missile strikes, conflicting statements from top US officials have caused confusion worldwide. President Donald Trump had spoken out in the past against attacking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, and both his secretary of state and his top envoy to the UN delivered starkly different remarks on Sunday concerning the US agenda in Syria. Opinion: US sends a warning to Assad and Russia Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said the removal of Assad was essential to securing peace in Syria. The comment was a departure for the administration, which had previously downplayed the importance of regime change in the country. Tillerson said Washington's priority remained the defeat of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist group. After the group's defeat, officials in Washington would then "hope to turn our attention to ceasefire agreements between the regime and opposition forces," Tillerson said. North Korea also on the agenda The G7 ministers will also discuss recent posturing by North Korea, which used the US strikes in Syria as justification for what the G7 host Italy called its "worrisome" nuclear weapons program. Tensions have also been rising in the Asia-Pacific region following comments by Trump that Washington would act against Pyongyang with or without the help of China, North Korea's most important ally. The US Navy is headed to the Korean Peninsula after the North launched a missile in the lead-up to a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last week. Representatives from the EU will also attend the meeting with the G7, which is made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US. Russia was formally suspended from the group - originally referred to as the G8 - after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea in 2014.

Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) nations have called on Russia to help end the war in Syria ahead of a meeting in Italy. The gathering comes as tensions rise in the wake of a US airstrike on Syrian forces. The meeting in the Tuscan city of Lucca on Monday will focus on simmering tensions between Russia and ... Read More »

Russia between anger and damage control on Syria

Moscow has criticized Washington's decision to launch missile strikes against a Syrian airbase. At the same time, it also seems to be conducting damage control. Russian experts warn of a direct confrontation. Maria Zakharova has rarely appeared as nervous as she did this Friday morning. Although she is known for being in control, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press director was obviously flustered on this occasion, having to start over several times as she read a prepared statement on US airstrikes in Syria. The statement condemned the missile attacks, which targeted a Syrian airbase near the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the strikes were retribution for the recent chemical weapons attacks that claimed the lives of numerous Syrian civilians in the province of Idlib. The United States and other Western countries say that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's army was responsible for the attack. Assad and his Russian protectors deny the accusation, blaming rebels for the act instead. Zakharova said that the chemical weapons attack had simply given the US an excuse to launch a long-planned strike against Assad. Failed Russian foreign policy Andrey Kortunov, director of the Russian Foreign Affairs Council, a Moscow think tank, says that Russia was caught off guard by Washington's decision. "One needs to remember that Trump had been sending other signals before, and had hinted at a softer approach to Assad," he told DW. "And just the day before, Russia had also signaled that it would be willing to change its approach in Syria if Assad was indeed behind the chemical attacks." But Trump also seems to want to distance himself from his predecessor, Barack Obama, who famously spoke of a "red line" in Syria in 2012, only to shy away from launching military attacks against Assad when the Syrian president defiantly crossed that line in 2013. Moscow publisher and military expert Alexander Golz told DW that the US airstrikes signal the end of Russian diplomatic efforts in Syria. "For four years, Russia has been bragging about having hindered US aggression in Syria. Now it is clear that Moscow only delayed US involvement. It is also clear that dictators are shifty and thankless partners, and that Trump acts more decisively than Obama." Russia's military presence in Syria, which was established in 2015, lost all influence overnight as a result of the US strike. Russia's Ministry of Defense announced that the US missile strike against the Syrian army had been ineffective. Though a spokesperson went on to say that Moscow would help Syria strengthen its air defenses. Apparently, Russian combat troops stationed in Syria were not affected by the US airstrike. Washington said that it warned Moscow of the attack in advance. A new historical precedent? Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova said that Russia's first reaction to the missile strike would be to withdraw from its agreement with the US on coordinated air operations in Syria. The agreement is designed to prevent encounters between fighter aircraft. Andrey Kortunov believes "the threat of a direct confrontation has increased, but not significantly." According to Alexander Golz, a direct military confrontation would be the absolute worst case scenario. He pointed out that such situations had been successfully averted in earlier conflicts like Korea or Vietnam, when Washington and Moscow each supported a diverse number of warring factions. "I think decision makers are very aware of the threat of a global conflict," Golz said. Thus far, reactions from Moscow have echoed a mix of shock and anger. But one also senses an effort to avoid further damaging the already faltering dialogue with the Trump administration. According to Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president regards the US operation as an "aggression" against Syria. Peskov went on to say, "With this step Washington has struck a significant blow to Russian-American relations, which were already in a sorry state." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced similar sentiments speaking in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent. "I hope this provocation will not lead to irreparable damage [to US-Russian relations]," said Russia's top diplomat. Not an end to diplomatic ties Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia's parliament, the State Duma, said the US operation benefited the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist militant group: "IS is applauding the USA today." He went on to say that the US must be kept from taking further aggressive action. Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma's Committee on International Affairs, told the Russian state television channel Russia 24 that the incident was "very disappointing." But Slutsky, a member of the ruling "United Russia" party, added that Moscow could "not wall itself off" to Washington. Slutsky also said that Russia should speak with new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he travels to Moscow next week. Andrey Kortunov of the Russian Foreign Affairs Council believes that the dialogue between Moscow and Washington will become increasingly difficult after the missile strike.

Moscow has criticized Washington’s decision to launch missile strikes against a Syrian airbase. At the same time, it also seems to be conducting damage control. Russian experts warn of a direct confrontation. Maria Zakharova has rarely appeared as nervous as she did this Friday morning. Although she is known for being in control, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press director ... Read More »

St. Petersburg metro hit by deadly blast

Some 10 people have been killed and some 50 injured in an explosion on a train in the subway system of the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Russian authorities say. All stations were closed after the blast. An explosion in a train carriage on the St. Petersburg subway system on Monday killed at least 10 people and injured some 50 others, Russian authorities said. The blast was reported to have taken place in a train traveling between the stations of Sennaya Ploshchad and the Institute of Technology. A spokesman for Russia's National Anti-Terrorism committee (NAK), Andrei Przhezdomsky, said in televised remarks that the blast occurred at 2:40 pm local time (1140 UTC). St Petersburg metro blast: Timeline Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying the explosion was caused by a shrapnel-filled bomb. The blast tore a hole in the side of a carriage. The NAK later said it had found and deactivated another homemade bomb found at a different St. Petersburg station. Terrorism 'being considered' Following the explosion, there were scenes of confusion, with traffic blocked on the busy thoroughfare of Moskovsky Prospect, while emergency vehicles and a helicopter rushed to assist the victims. All stations on the subway system were closed following the blast. The Moscow metro also said it was stepping up security in case of an attack there, while the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee said security would be tightened at all criticial transport facilities. President Vladimir Putin, who was visiting the city for talks with his Belarus counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in the blast, and said all possible causes, including terrorism, were being considered. "Law enforcement agencies and intelligence services are doingtheir best to establish the cause and give a full picture of what happened," Putin said at the start of his talks with Lukashenko. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel expressed his condolences following the blast, saying he had learned of the news "with deep sorrow." He said Germany's thoughts were "with our friends in Russia, the victims and their families in this dark hour." Several enemies Russia has seen several attacks by separatist Islamist Chechen militants in past years, and the extremist group "Islamic State" (IS) has also threatened to carry out attacks in the country in retaliation for the Russian military operations in Syria. Russia is giving military assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in fighting rebel groups including IS. There has, however, been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. Double suicide bombings in the Moscow subway in March 2010 killed 40 people and wounded more than 100 others. Those attacks, carried out by two female suicide bombers, were claimed by Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov. In November 2009, 26 people were killed and some 100 injured in a bombing on the high-speed Moscow-to-St. Petersburg train, with Umarov's group saying he also ordered that attack.

Some 10 people have been killed and some 50 injured in an explosion on a train in the subway system of the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Russian authorities say. All stations were closed after the blast. An explosion in a train carriage on the St. Petersburg subway system on Monday killed at least 10 people and injured some 50 ... Read More »

German Foreign Minister Gabriel fears new arms race with Russia

Gabriel has also called for conventional disarmament while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow. The German politician is scheduled to meet President Putin later in the day. "We have concerns that we are entering into a new arms race," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday during their meeting in Moscow. Gabriel also warned that Germany would regard any attempt to influence public opinion with the utmost seriousness. The German politician responded to revelations on Tuesday by WikiLeaks that the CIA had hacked into encrypted messages and used Frankfurt as a base for its digital espionage operations, saying that Germany did not have any information about the cyber attacks. The agenda for the visit, which comes on the heels of a visit to Poland, centers on sensitive topics in the German-Russian relationship including Ukraine, Syria and NATO. Although Gabriel has been Germany's foreign minister for just six weeks, the politician from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is meeting with old acquaintances. As a former Minister of the Economy, Gabriel received Putin three times when he held that post. Tricky topics on the table Gabriel inherited a delicate relationship from his predecessor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, made more uncertain by the Trump administration's overtures to Russia and the Baltic and EU-member nations' fears of an increasingly resurgent Kremlin. The foreign minister told Interfax reporters that a "relapse into Cold War times" must be avoided "at all costs." In this charged atmosphere, Gabriel is seeking to make progress on certain key issues. He will continue a push for progress he began at the Munich Security Conference aimed at subduing the violent fighting that has flared up in East Ukraine in recent weeks, as a ceasefire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops dissolved. Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy is to tie the removal of sanctions imposed against Moscow to a Russian adherence to the Minsk agreement. Gabriel and Lavrov will also discuss the six-year-long conflict in Syria andthe upcoming peace talks in Geneva and possibilities for stabilizing Libya, a key departure point for migrants seeking EU entry. NATO-Russia Council Despite the Baltic and Eastern European EU member states' fears of increased Russian aggression - which led NATO to station some 4,000 troops in the region - Gabriel is likely to appeal for regular meetings of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) in an effort to de-escalate tension. Gabriel recently questioned the military alliance's two percent defense spending commitment. Before his reception by the Kremlin, the German politician met Thursday morning with leaders of Russian civil organizations at the German Ambassador's residence in Moscow. The assembled group included writers, editors and the leader of Greenpeace Russia.

Gabriel has also called for conventional disarmament while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow. The German politician is scheduled to meet President Putin later in the day. “We have concerns that we are entering into a new arms race,” Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday during their meeting in Moscow. Gabriel also ... Read More »

Trump doubts Russia involved in hacking United States election

US President-elect Donald Trump once again said Russia was not involved in hacking the US presidential election. Trump also said he was open to meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. US President-elect Donald Trump again denied Russia hacked the US presidential election before celebrating New Year at his Florida estate. "Well I just want them to be sure, because it's a pretty serious charge, and I want them to be sure," said Trump. Trump added US intelligence was incorrect when it said Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, a part of what lead to a US invasion of Iraq in 2003. He called the invasion "a disaster, and they were wrong." Trump said it was unfair to accuse Russia of hacking if there is doubt, saying he knows "a lot about hacking" and "it could be somebody else." "I also know things that other people don't know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation," said Trump, telling reporters they would find out Tuesday or Wednesday what he knew about hacking. US intelligence agencies CIA and FBI agree that Russia intervened in the November US presidential election. Trump secured the electoral college vote, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for vowing not to expel US diplomats after the US expelled 35 last week. Hacking during the campaign hit the Democratic party hard, and the party blamed Russia for an attack in August. Trump noted he was open to meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The two exchanged a controversial phone call after Trump's victory, breaking more than three decades of the "one-China" policy. "I'm not meeting with anybody until after January 20th because it's a little bit inappropriate from a protocol standpoint. But we'll see," said Trump, who becomes president on January 20. As for his New Year's resolution, he harped his campaign slogan: Make America great again.

US President-elect Donald Trump once again said Russia was not involved in hacking the US presidential election. Trump also said he was open to meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. US President-elect Donald Trump again denied Russia hacked the US presidential election before celebrating New Year at his Florida estate. “Well I just want them to be sure, because it’s ... Read More »

US to announce retaliatory measures against Russia over election hacks

Several reports have said the Obama administration plans to announce retaliatory measures against Russia for allegedly interfering in the US election. Moscow has said it will retaliate should measures be approved. The outgoing administration of US President Barack Obama is set to implement a series of retaliatory measures against Russia for its alleged meddling in the US election, several reports said Wednesday. The announcement could be made as soon as Thursday, reported the Reuters news agency, citing two US officials. "The Washington Post" cited its sources as saying the measures could include economic sanctions, diplomatic censure and possibly cyber operations. The names of people tied to a Russian disinformation campaign that allegedly targeted Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign may also be released, CNN reported. One decision that has been finalized is to avoid any moves that exceed the Russian election hacking and risk an escalating cyber conflict, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. US officials said the point of the retaliatory steps was not to punish, but to deter similar cyberattacks or actions in the future. Three US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was behind hacks into the Democratic Party and leaked documents ahead of the November 8 presidential election. The agencies also agree that Russia sought to intervene to help President-elect Donald Trump and other Republican candidates into office. Russia calls move a 'provocation' Following news of Washington's planned announcement, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman promised Moscow would retaliate in the event of new economic sanctions. "To be honest, we are tired of lie about the 'Russian hackers,' which is being poured down in the United States from the very top," said spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. She also called the reports a "provocation directed by the White House." Both Russia and Trump have denied and dismissed the US intelligence reports. Two Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, called for even harsher action against Russia in remarks made to Fox News. Along with increasing economic sanctions, McCain also pushed for a permanent US military presence in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and for arming Ukraine with weapons. The Obama administration already warned Russia via diplomatic channels prior to November's election. One week before the election, Washington used a special crisis communication channel for the first time to send a message to Moscow, asking it to stop targeting state voter registration and election systems. US officials said Russia apparently complied after receiving the message.

Several reports have said the Obama administration plans to announce retaliatory measures against Russia for allegedly interfering in the US election. Moscow has said it will retaliate should measures be approved. The outgoing administration of US President Barack Obama is set to implement a series of retaliatory measures against Russia for its alleged meddling in the US election, several reports ... Read More »

Assad: Trump could be ‘natural ally’ against terrorism

The Syrian President has said Donald Trump could be an ally if his actions match his campaign rhetoric. Trump has signalled his foreign policy will be less hostile to the Assad regime than the Obama administration's. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview that US president-elect Donald Trump could be a "natural ally," if he follows through on his pledge to fight "terrorists" and overcomes "countervailing forces" in the US administration. Making his first public reaction to Trump's victory in last week's election, Assad said he was unsure if the incoming president would stay true to his campaign rhetoric about focusing more on fighting the so-called Islamic State (IS) group and less on Syrian regime forces. "We cannot tell anything about what he's going to do, but if... he is going to fight the terrorists, of course we are going to be ally, natural ally in that regard with the Russian, with the Iranian, with many other countries," Assad told Portugal's RTP state television. In a marked departure from the Obama administration, Trump has suggested his foreign policy will be less hostile to Assad's government. The Syrian regime is currently mired in a four-way civil war that also involves mainly Islamist rebels, the IS jihadist group, and leftist Kurdish forces. "I would say this is promising, but can he deliver?" Assad said. "Can he go in that regard? What about the countervailing forces within the administration, the mainstream media that were against him? How can he deal with it?" he added. The United States is currently leading an international coalition carrying out air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq. It is also supporting rebels battling the Assad government. On Tuesday, Syrian government aircraft bombed the besieged rebel-held city of Aleppo for the first time in three weeks, activists said. In an interview with The New York Times in March, Trump said he thought "the approach of fighting Assad and (IS) simultaneously was madness, and idiocy". "You can't be fighting two people that are fighting each other, and fighting them together. You have to pick one or the other," Trump said. Trump has also pledged to improve relations with Assad's main ally in the war, Russia. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Trump in which the two pledged to combine efforts to tackle international terrorism and extremism.

The Syrian President has said Donald Trump could be an ally if his actions match his campaign rhetoric. Trump has signalled his foreign policy will be less hostile to the Assad regime than the Obama administration’s. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview that US president-elect Donald Trump could be a “natural ally,” if he follows through on his ... Read More »

Donald Trump and Russian President Putin hold phone call, Kremlin says

In their first call since the US election, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have said they will cooperate in tackling terrorism and extremism. Both also noted the "extremely unsatisfactory state of Russian-US relations." In a statement late on Monday, the Kremlin confirmed that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have spoken on the telephone for the first time since Trump defeated Hillary Clinton last Tuesday in the US presidential election. During the phone call, the Russian president and US president-elect reportedly agreed to "channel" relations between Russia and the US and "combine efforts to tackle international terrorism and extremism." Trump's transition office said the two men also discussed "strategic economic issues," and that Trump was "very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia." Putin was one of the first foreign leaders to congratulate the president-elect on his victory at the polls last week. Tense US-Russian relations During their conversation, Putin and Trump noted "the extremely unsatisfactory state of Russian-US relations at present" and "declared the need for active joint work to normalize them," the Kremlin statement said. It added that any dialogue should be based on "equality, mutual respect and non-intervention in each other's internal affairs." Ahead of Trump entering the White House in January, both men said they will continue to stay in contact by phone and work towards meeting in person. Trump will take office on Januray 20, replacing Barack Obama whose relations with Putin have become tense over various issues including the Syrian conflict and Ukraine.

In their first call since the US election, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have said they will cooperate in tackling terrorism and extremism. Both also noted the “extremely unsatisfactory state of Russian-US relations.” In a statement late on Monday, the Kremlin confirmed that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have spoken on the telephone for the first time since Trump defeated ... Read More »

Scroll To Top