Trump and Putin: Syria ceasefire heads leaders' agenda


America : US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to press for a ceasefire to halt the war in Syria.

The two spoke by telephone for the first time since the US launched air strikes against Syria nearly a month ago, straining relations. White House and Kremlin statements suggested a productive conversation. Other topics discussed included North Korea and the timing of a future face-to-face meeting. Mr Trump ordered cruise missile strikes on a Syrian government airbase following the deaths of more than 80 people in a suspected chemical weapons attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the incident was fabricated, while Russia, Mr Assad’s main foreign backer, said at the time that it was caused by an air strike hitting a rebel depot containing chemical weapons. However in a statement on Tuesday, Mr Putin called for a full investigation into the incident and condemned “any use of chemical weapons”. A White House statement said: “President Trump and President Putin agreed that the suffering in Syria has gone on for far too long and that all parties must do all they can to end the violence. “The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons”.