The Russian government and the U.S. State Department put out what it said was a joint statement between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin wherein the two agreed to work together to continue deescalating violence in Syria.
The statement addressed the ongoing fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
“The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both U.S. and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS,” the statement published by the Kremlin and State Department said. “They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved. The Presidents agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria.”
The civil war in Syria has gone on for more than six years. Russia supports the Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime while the U.S. has backed some rebel groups – some of whom oppose Assad – that are fighting ISIS. In July, the U.S. and Russia reach ‘de-escalation zone’ agreement in Syria.
Trump met with Putin on Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Danang, Vietnam.
Speaking with reporters after the event, Trump hinted at a coming joint statement.
“We had two or three very short conversations, but during those conversations we talked about Syria,” Trump said of his interactions with Putin in Vietnam. “And we issued a joint statement, just approved, and I think people are going to be extremely happy with it and also very impressed with it.”
That sentiment was echoed by the joint statement issued by the State Department in a paragraph that did not appear in the Kremlin’s version. “In addition, President Trump noted that he had a good meeting with President Putin. He further noted that the successful implementation of the agreements announced today will save thousands of lives,” the State Department statement said.