President Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin via phone today about potential solutions to the ongoing Syrian Civil War. The world leaders agreed that the time has come for the destructive and brutal conflict to come to a peaceful conclusion. In the official White House readout of the phone call, the conversation was described as a “very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons.”
Ongoing cooperation between Russia and the United States with regards to the conflict would represent a break from traditional U.S foreign policy. As a candidate Trump shocked the Republican Party’s foreign policy establishment by resolving to work with Putin on the situation, even referring to anti-Russia hawks as “stupid people.” President Trump resolved to send an official U.S Representative to peace talks between the Syrian government and rebels in Kazakhstan occurring May 3-4.
A policy of cooperation between the two world powers could also signal a turnaround from potential hostilities against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s retaliatory cruise missile strike against a Syrian Air Base- in response to the use of chemical weapons- predictably irritated Putin, due to Russia’s strategic alliance with the Syrian government. Assad is opposed by a rebel coalition including a sizable contingent of al-Qaeda aligned jihadists. Notably, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke in support of the limited intervention recently, signaling support for further belligerence towards Syria from establishmentarian foreign policy circles.
The world leaders also discussed “how best to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea.”