US State Secretary Rex Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Wednesday in Washington for more than an hour to discuss a range of issues including Ukraine, Syria, and bilateral concerns.
The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed the importance of defeating ISIS, de-escalating the violence in Syria, and ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches hundreds of thousands of civilians throughout the country, according to US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. Additionally, the Secretary and Foreign Minister restated support for the UN-led political process in Geneva, which is central to international efforts to bring about an enduring resolution to the conflict.
On Ukraine, Secretary Tillerson stressed the need for progress toward full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Sanctions on Russia will remain in place until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered them.
The United States and Russia agreed to continue discussions to resolve other issues of bilateral concern, including strategic stability, said Nauert in a statement.
As reported, US President Donald Trump also met with Lavrov, following his visit with Tillerson.
According to the White House, President Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria, in particular, underscoring the need for Russia to rein in the Assad regime, Iran, and Iranian proxies.
President Trump also raised Ukraine, and expressed his Administration’s commitment to remain engaged in resolving the conflict and stressed Russia’s responsibility to fully implement the Minsk agreements.
Trump also raised the possibility of broader cooperation on resolving conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, according to the White House. The US President further emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the US and Russia.