Donald Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save 'tremendous numbers of lives'

Donald Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save 'tremendous numbers of lives'

Donald Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save 'tremendous numbers of lives'

Updated 11 November 2017, 23:00 AEDT

US President Donald Trump says an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Syria would save "tremendous numbers of lives" after the two met at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump have agreed on a joint statement on Syria that said they would continue joint efforts in fighting Islamic State until it is defeated, the Kremlin has said.

Key points:

  • Kremlin statement said Russia and US will continue to fight Islamic State until it is defeated
  • White House did not respond to questions on the statement
  • Moscow and Washington say they agree there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the Kremlin announcement or the conversation the Kremlin said took place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort of Da Nang.

The Kremlin said the statement on Syria was coordinated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson especially for the meeting in Da Nang.

Mr Putin and Mr Trump confirmed their commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to take an active part in the Geneva political process, it said.

Moscow and Washington agree there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, according to the text of the joint statement published on the Kremlin's website.

Television pictures from Danang showed Mr Putin and Mr Trump chatting — apparently amicably — as they walked to the position where the traditional APEC summit photo was being taken at a viewpoint looking over the South China Sea.

Earlier pictures from the meeting show Mr Trump walking up to Mr Putin as he sits at the summit table and patting him on the back.

The two leant in to speak to each other and clasped each other briefly as they exchanged a few words.

Although the White House had said no official meeting was planned, the two also shook hands at a dinner on Friday evening.

Mr Trump has shown little appetite for holding talks with Mr Putin unless there is some sense that progress could be made on festering issues such as Syria, Ukraine and North Korea.

After emphasising last year on the campaign trail that it would be nice if the United States and Russia could work together on world problems, Mr Trump has had limited contact with Mr Putin since taking office.

Mr Trump publicly sitting down with Mr Putin also revives the issue of Russian meddling in last year's US presidential election, which remains under investigation.

Mr Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been indicted in the probe along with his former deputy, Rick Gates.

Reuters