President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin for over an hour on Tuesday in a wide-ranging conversation that included discussions of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, as well as North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.
Trump and Putin concurred on the need for peace in Syria and counter-terrorism measures in the Middle East generally, according to a White House readout of the conversation. The two leaders also agreed to seek further cooperation in Syria.
Trump himself told reporters that the call was "great" when he spoke to them briefly outside the White House on Tuesday before departing for Thanksgiving.
"We had a great call with President Putin," Trump said. "We're talking about peace in Syria, very important."
Trump and Putin stressed the importance of peacefully resolving the conflict in Syria, affirming United Nations Security Council resolution 2254, which calls for just that.
"Both presidents also stressed the importance of implementing U.N. Security Council resolution 2254, and supporting the U.N.-led Geneva Process to peacefully resolve the Syrian civil war, end the humanitarian crisis, allow displaced Syrians to return home, and ensure the stability of a unified Syria free of malign intervention and terrorist safe havens," the readout said.
"The two presidents affirmed the importance of fighting terrorism together throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and agreed to explore ways to further cooperate in the fight against ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations," the readout added.
"We had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half. We've just put out a release on the call, but we're talking very strongly about bringing peace to Syria," Trump said.
According to the readout, the leaders also agreed on "the need to continue international pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapon and missile programs." Trump said they talked "very strongly" about North Korea and also Ukraine, where Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
This is not the first time that Trump and Putin have talked; they have discussed these same issues before. Trump has faced some criticism for engaging the Russian president, not just for Putin's approach to the Middle East but also for Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.