Trump, Russia's Lavrov discuss Syrian civil war

Trump, Russia's Lavrov discuss Syrian civil war

"What the president has made clear is that he will confront Russia's disruptive behavior, such as the support for the murderous Assad regime in Syria ... its enabling of Iran, and it's very destructive policy and strategy that it's executing across the Middle East", McMaster explained.

"The goal of both President Trump and President (Vladimir) Putin is to have concrete results which will be tangible and which will allow (us) to alleviate problems, including on the global agenda", Lavrov told journalists.

Lavrov and Trump did not agree to any "specific approaches" to Syria during their meeting on Wednesday, McMaster said.

Syria's opposition rejected the Russian plan, calling it a threat to the country's territorial integrity and refusing to recognise Iran as a guarantor of any ceasefire plan.

The war in Syria has forced million of refugees to flee the country, over which the United States and Russian Federation have for the first time since World War Two had flown combat missions in the same air space.

Lavrov's American counterpart Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has admitted that US-Russian relations are at their lowest ebb since the Cold War and that there is nearly no trust left.

"I think that we are going to do very well with respect to Syria, I think things are happening - they are really, really, really positive", Trump said.

More news: AG Josh Shapiro issues multiple charges against engineer in 2015 Amtrak crash

Russian Federation backs Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad in the civil war.

Since March 2011, the Syrian conflict has caused more than 320,000 deaths and forced millions of refugees to flee.

Last week, Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed on a proposal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, following diplomatic talks in the Kazakh city of Astana.

The agreement calls for the creation of four "de-escalation zones" to shore up a ceasefire, ban flights and allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid.

The declaration contradicts Russian Federation, the main ally of Assad and principal author of the recently reached agreement, which had asserted there would be outside monitors.

After talks Wednesday, the two diplomats will again meet Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska for the Arctic Council meeting, an intergovernmental forum for cooperation on the environment, oil and mining, shipping, fisheries and tourism.

It brings together the eight countries bordering the Arctic Ocean - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States.

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