Trump Commits to Syria With Putin, NATO With Merkel

Trump spent Saturday on phone calls with 5 world leaders
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2017 4:13 PM CST
Trump Talks to Putin for 1st Time as President
President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

While President Trump's travel bans made headlines, the president himself spent the day on the phone with five world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, USA Today reports. While the White House didn't initially release any information about Trump's conversation with Putin, the Kremlin says the two agreed to "real coordination" to "crush ISIS" in Syria. Cooperation with Russia in Syria is against current policy and also opposed by some GOP leaders. According to CNN, the Kremlin says Putin and Trump also talked about trade, international terrorism, the situation in Korea, "major aspects of the Ukrainian crisis," and having "regular personal contact." The Kremlin says the possibility of the US lifting Russian sanctions wasn't addressed.

Trump's second biggest conversation of the day was with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who Trump has alternately accused of "ruining Germany" and called his favorite world leader, NBC News reports. According to the White House, Trump assured Merkel the US is committed to NATO, and they spoke about all member nations "contributing their fair share." They also addressed issues in Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East, and North Africa. On another call, French president Francois Hollande warned Trump that the US "turning inward" as a country would have ramifications, both political and economic. Trump also had phone conversations with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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