UK and US will try to convince Russia to end support for Assad
'A window of opportunity now exists' to convince Russia to review its alliance with Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, according to leaders of the U.K. and the U.S.
British Prime Minister Theresa May held a telephone conversation with President Donald Trump on Monday to discuss matters involving Syria, Iran and North Korea, a Downing Street statement said. “Theresa May tonight spoke with US President Trump to discuss last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria and the US response,” it said. “The Prime Minister and the President agreed that a window of opportunity now exists in which to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest,” the statement added. May and Trump also agreed that “US Secretary of State Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week provides an opportunity to make progress towards a solution which will deliver a lasting political settlement.”
They also discussed the broader Middle East, including the threat posed by Iran throughout the region. During the phone call, May and Trump “stressed the importance of the international community, including China, putting pressure on North Korea to constrain the threat it poses,” according to the statement. It also said that Trump thanked for the support given by the U.K. after the missile strikes against Assad regime. The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles late Thursday on a Syrian military airbase that American officials believe was used to launch a chemical attack last week that killed scores in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib. The broader six-year Syrian conflict has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions. A UN-mediated peace process in Geneva has yielded few results since 2012, while the Security Council has been hamstrung by Russia, a permanent member, shielding the Syrian regime from international repercussions.