Trump, Putin to talk following Assad's Russia visit

Trump, Putin to talk following Assad's Russia visit
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Russian President Vladimir Putin will call President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE on Tuesday as Moscow tries to jump-start diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian civil war. 
 
The call comes after a rare meeting between Putin and Syrian leader Bashar Assad in the Russian resort town of Sochi. 
 
Tomorrow, I am speaking with U.S. President Donald Trump,” Putin said during their Monday meeting, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
 
National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton confirmed Trump and Putin will speak Tuesday morning. 
 
Putin said he would also speak with other leaders in the region, including the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He is also set to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Sochi.
 
Putin lauded Assad’s “results in combating terrorist groups.”
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“The Syrian people, despite a very difficult ordeal, are gradually moving toward the final and inevitable defeat of the terrorists,” he said, according to the Kremlin. 
 
Trump's and Putin's last known conversation occurred earlier this month on the sidelines of an economic summit in Vietnam. 
 
Relations between the U.S. and Russia have been fraught for months over Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. That added to friction already caused by the Kremlin’s backing of Assad in his country’s five-year civil war. 
 
Former President Obama called for Assad to step down in 2013, and the U.S. has long maintained he should not have a role in charting a course for post-war Syria. 
 
But Russia has continued to boost the Syrian leader and appears to be angling for him to have a major say in any transition of power. 
 
Putin last met with Assad in October 2015, soon after Moscow began airstrikes against rebel groups fighting government forces.