Da Nang (Vietnam): US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed upon the need to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and called on all countries to build up humanitarian assistance to the war-ravaged country.
Both the leaders "reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and called on the parties to the conflict there to participate in the Geneva political process... and reiterated the need to destroy the IS", according to a joint statement approved by Putin and Trump on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here on Saturday.
The two leaders said "there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria" and urged the UN member states to increase their contributions to providing humanitarian aid to Damascus in the coming months, TASS news agency reported. "The Presidents agreed to maintain the existing military communication channels to ensure the security of US and Russian armed forces, as well as to prevent dangerous incidents involving the forces of allies fighting the Daesh (IS) terror group," the statement said.
The document was prepared by the experts of the two countries and agreed on by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia's Sputnik news agency that the statement was specifically prepared for the meeting in Da Nang. Trump and Putin posed side by side for a photo in custom-made blue shirts for the summit on Friday. They also shook hands as the leaders sat down for talks on Saturday morning and later exchanged a few words before a "family photo" of attendees. The White House had previously said the two leaders would not have a formal meeting during the conference, but they did meet for about five minutes over Syria. (IANS)