Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov, the President and Foreign Minister of Russia have concluded a meeting with their American counterparts Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson.
The meeting lasted for 2 hours and 20 minutes, although it was initially scheduled to last for only 35 minutes.
Simultaneous to the meeting concluding, it emerged from a US official that Russia and the US have agreed to be signatories and ostensibly guarantors of a ceasefire agreement for southwest Syria.
In recent weeks, southwest Syria has seen ferocious fighting between al-Qaeda remnants and the Syrian Arab Army while Israel has conducted multiple acts of illegal military aggression against Syria from its positions in part of the Golan Heights, a part of Syria which Israel has partly occupied since 1967.
Last week, Syria proclaimed a ceasefire in the region. Many expected this week’s meeting of the Astana Group to affirm the ceasefire. As it turned out, the recent round of Astana talks between Russia, Iran and Turkey concluded without any new documents being signed.
It appears that now the US and Russia will act to guarantee the ceasefire.
President Putin and President Trump did not meet with the press after the meeting, however Putin spoke briefly before his next meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Putin issued a public apology to Abe for being late due to the unexpected length of his meeting with Donald Trump.
“I had a very lengthy conversation with the President of the United States, there were a lot of issues such as Ukraine, Syria, other problems, some bilateral issues”.
“We again returned to the issues of fighting terrorism and cybersecurity”.
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