Although Syria’s city, Raqqa has been taken back from ISIS, it doesn’t mean that fighting against ISIS in the country is done.
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met informally during the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam.
Following their meeting, a joint statement was released where both leaders agreed to stay committed to defeating ISIS in Syria, but that there is no military solution to the bloody conflict.
“President Trump and President Putin today, meeting on the margins of the APEC conference in Da Nang, Vietnam, confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS in Syria,” said the statement released by the Kremlin.
“The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both US and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved,” according to the statement.
Trump also said that he had a “good meeting with President Putin.”
“We seem to have a very good feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well,” said Trump about the Russian president. “I think it’s a very good relationship.”
No formal meeting was set up due to scheduling issues, but the leaders were able to speak casually a few times at the summit on both Friday and Saturday.
Not to mention, a formal meeting was not needed because there isn’t something “sufficiently substantive” to discuss according to Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State.
“The view has been if the two leaders are going to meet, is there something sufficiently substantive to talk about that would warrant a formal meeting,” said Tillerson to reporters last Thursday while in Beijing.
The relationship between Russia and the U.S. has always been a rocky one, but now the countries share a priority.
“Russia got themselves involved back when it was a civil war. In some respects, the effort to defeat ISIS changed priorities for some. Certainly, for us, the priority was defeating ISIS. I think for Russia, it’s a question of how long do they want to continue to support conflict,” said a senior State Department official to CNN. “What the joint statement indicates is a commitment to get this to a political reconciliation and peace process. That serves their interest, it serves our interest.”
Russia may even be able to get Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad more involved.
Over the last few months, Washington and Moscow have been negotiating over Syria. On Thursday, it was announced that an agreement was close to being struck that would help resolve Syria’s civil war once ISIS is defeated.
Trump and Putin met in Germany earlier in the year, where the leaders agreed to cease fire in southwest Syria.
“This is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” said Tillerson at the time.
Syria (Assad) has made it clear that the country wants the U.S. out.
“The presence of U.S. forces or any foreign military presence in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government constitutes an act of aggression and an attack on the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as a gross violation of the charter and principles of the United Nations,” said an official source according to The Syrian Foreign Ministry.
“The Syrian Arab Republic again calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. This presence is an aggression against Syria’s sovereignty and independence and will be dealt with on this basis.”
Author’s note: While the liberal media is focusing more on the Russia “meddling” scandal, this is a real story of substance. It reveals what the future holds for the U.S. in terms of involvement in Syria. Trump wants to make sure ISIS doesn’t gain control there again.