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Putin, Trump Agree to Develop Relations 'As Equals': Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his new US counterpart Donald Trump agreed Saturday to develop relations "as equals" and to establish "real coordination" against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, the Kremlin said.

AFP

Updated:January 29, 2017, 7:53 AM IST
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Putin, Trump Agree to Develop Relations 'As Equals': Kremlin
File photo of US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. (Image: Reuters)

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his new US counterpart Donald Trump agreed Saturday to develop relations "as equals" and to establish "real coordination" against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, the Kremlin said.

"The two sides expressed a willingness to work actively together to stabilise and develop Russian-American cooperation on a constructive basis, as equals, and to mutual benefit," Putin said in a statement after the two men's first phone conversation since Trump took office.

Describing it as a "positive" exchange, the Kremlin said the two leaders touched on many subjects from the Iranian nuclear deal to the Ukraine and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the tensions on the Korean peninsula and trade relations.

The "priority" in their talks was the fight against international terrorism.

"The presidents said they were in favour of putting in place real coordination of Russian and American actions to destroy IS and the other terrorist groupings in Syria," the statement said.

Trump and Putin also expressed the desire to organise a meeting, the Kremlin said.

The US and Russian leaders had spoken for the first time by phone in November, just after the billionaire tycoon's surprise election victory.

Back then they agreed on the need to "normalise" relations between Moscow and Washington after the tensions during the previous US administration of president Barack Obama over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

- Silence on sanctions -

Relations between the two countries had plunged after Washington and also the European Union imposed economic sanctions on Russia following its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and also over its support for the pro-Russian insurgents in east Ukraine.

The subject of the sanctions was not raised in Saturday's conversation between Putin and Trump, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told the Interfax news agency.

On Friday, Trump had said it was "too early" to speak about easing the sanctions.

On the economic front, the two leaders spoke Saturday about "the importance of establishing mutually advantageous trade relations," the Kremlin statement said.

It added that Putin reminded Trump that "our country had over two centuries supported America, that it had been its ally during two world wars and considers the United States today as an important partner in the fight against international terrorism."

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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