Donald Trump, Sergey Lavrov, Russia
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

President Trump called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a meeting on Wednesday to “rein in” Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran and Tehran’s proxies, according to the White House.

Trump “emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria,” the administration said.

The administration has criticized Russia’s support of Assad, with Trump last month calling the Syrian leader an “evil person” and “an animal.”

{mosads}The White House noted that Trump on Wednesday also brought up Ukraine during his meeting with Lavrov and said that his administration is committed “to remain engaged in resolving the conflict” there.

Trump further stressed that Russia needs to fully implement the Minsk agreements, a peace deal negotiated by the parties in the Ukrainian conflict.

The commander in chief also voiced his desire to build a better relationship with Russia and cooperate with Moscow on resolving conflicts in the Middle East.

“He also raised the possibility of broader cooperation on resolving conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere,” the White House said.

“The president further emphasized the desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.”

The White House readout did not mention that the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, also attended the meeting in the White House.

The official Twitter feed of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. posted a picture of Trump and Kislyak shaking hands shortly before the expected meeting between Trump and Lavrov.

The Trump administration has been criticized in recent days for not making the visitor logs available to the public.

–This report was updated at 2:48 p.m.


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