Cameron and Putin discuss cooperation on Syria crisis

Prime Minister Cameron and President Putin discuss Syria and Ukraine in phone conversation

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to come together to discuss possible solutions for the civil war in Syria.

According to an AFP report, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Cameron’s office said President Putin had called Cameron to congratulate him for winning his second term in office earlier this month before the two leaders agreed to the resumption of talks to solve the crisis.

"Both leaders agreed that it is in the interest of both the UK and Russia to help find a solution to the civil war in Syria and particularly to stop the rise of ISIL," the spokeswoman said, referring to ISIS, with its alternative acronym.

"They agreed that their national security advisers should meet to restart talks on the Syrian conflict," she added.

ISIS has seized swathes of land across Syria and Iraq, having broken through the Sykes-Picot border that divided the two countries after taking over Iraq’s second biggest city of Mosul last year.

The militants have continued to expand their territory deeper into Iraq, marching into Tikrit where they have faced resistance from government forces backed by Shiite militias. The group also recently took control of the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar province.

With their de facto capital based in the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS continues to advance in Syria as well, opening a number of battle fronts both against Bashar al Assad’s regime forces and Syrian opposition groups.

Cameron’s spokeswoman added that the British premier reiterated his belief that Assad could play no part in a solution to the Syria crisis, and that talks should engage the “moderate Syrian opposition.”

In 2013, Cameron accused President Putin of having the blood of Syrian children on his hands due to Russia’s support for the Assad regime, but the rise of ISIS has given them a common enemy and cause for possible cooperation.

During their conversation, the two leaders also discussed the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Cameron reportedly told Putin they would "continue to have deep differences" on the war, which has killed over 6,000 people since it started last year.

Russia is accused of supporting pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, who took control of Donetsk and Luhansk following the deposing of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

Russia denies the claims, despite mounting evidence that Russian soldiers are directly involved in the fighting.

However, Cameron was also said to have told Putin in the 30-minute conversation that the two "could find other issues where the UK and Russia could work together on matters of mutual interest" in the years ahead.

TRTWorld and agencies