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Trump Seeks Better Russia Ties During Lavrov Meeting

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Trump emphasizes ‘need for Russia to rein in the Assad regime, Iran, and Iranian proxies’ during face-to-face

President Donald Trump "emphasized his desire" to improve ties with Russia during a meeting Wednesday with that country's foreign minister, according to the White House.

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The meeting focused on developments in Syria and Ukraine, where the U.S. and Russia ostensibly back opposing sides in the respective conflicts.

On Syria, Trump emphasized "the need for Russia to rein in the [President Bashar al-] Assad regime, Iran, and Iranian proxies", the executive mansion said in a readout of the face-to-face at the Oval Office.

Trump "also raised the possibility of broader cooperation on resolving conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere", it added.

Trump's meeting with Lavrov came just after the top Russian diplomat met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department for a meeting that exceeded one hour.

The men “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," the agency said in a readout, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for Daesh.

Tillerson further stressed the need to fully implement the Minsk agreements in Ukraine, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Sanctions will remain in place on Russia until it reverses its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, she added.

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