Saudi king, Russian president discuss counterterrorism by phone

Russia's President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al Assad during a meeting in Sochi

He announced that he expects Russia's assistance on the political settlement in Syria.

All that remains of the so-called "caliphate" that once stretched to the edges of Baghdad are patches of territory along the Euphrates in the deserts of Syria and Iraq.

Russia's participation in the fight against terrorism also allowed starting a political process and preserved our nation's territorial integrity and independence, said the Syrian leader, who is here on a working visit.

The two leaders met for talks ahead of a trilateral summit on Wednesday between Russia, Turkey and Iran, Syrian state media SANA said.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone for about an hour on Tuesday.

Ankara Moscow and Tehran are cooperating with increasing intensity on ending the over six-year civil war in Syria that has left 330,000 dead and millions homeless
Turkish army chief in Sochi as 'mission impossible' kicks off

Putin and Assad met for talks in Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort, Russian state media reported Tuesday.

Mr Putin had spoken with the leaders of Iran and Turkey to "assure them that Russian Federation will work with Syrian leadership to prepare the groundwork for possible understandings" that could be reached on Wednesday to "make sure" that agreements will be "viable", said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesman.

Putin himself said at his meeting with Assad that he planned to hold telephone talks with the U.S. presidents and the leaders of some of the Middle Eastern countries.

The fate of Assad remains a huge stumbling block, preventing global players from reaching a peace settlement over Syria's six-year war.

The civil war, which began in March 2011, has killed about 400,000 people and left millions... Noting the length, he said he and Putin spoke "very strongly about bringing peace to Syria" and "very strongly about North Korea".

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