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Putin Insists to Cooperate With Trump in South Syria for ‘Israel’s Benefit’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Moscow, Beirut, Ankara- Despite the risky deterioration witnessed at the US-Russian level after the US Congress voted last week to slap new sanctions on Russia, Moscow asserted on Monday its insistence to cooperate with Washington in the Syrian file, particularly the implementation of a truce in southwest Syria.

“The creation of a de-escalation zone in southern Syria as an example of a concrete result of (a US-Russian) working together,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Rossiya 1 TV channel.

He said the step does not only serve the interests of Syria, or Russia, but also benefits the interests of Israel and Jordan, which means it also benefits the US.

“We take into consideration that this area holds American interests, and that Israel is the main US ally in the region,” he said.

On Sunday, Putin ordered 755 American diplomats to leave the Russian territories in response to the US vote last Thursday to slap new sanctions on Moscow.

The Russian President also ruled out any positive developments in the relations with Washington anytime soon.

Last Friday, the White House said that US President Donald Trump would sign the sanctions bill against Russia.

“We work and achieve results even now, even in this rather complicated situation,” Putin said.

For his part, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that improvement was witnessed at the level of the Syrian crisis due to the joint Russian-US cooperation.

“At the Syrian level, we have been lately working (with the Americans) in a more positive image,” he said.

Meanwhile, Turkey expressed its fury on Monday over the remarks of the US special envoy for the global coalition against ISIS, Brett McGurk, who linked Ankara to some terrorist organizations in Syria.

“The approach by some of our partners to send tens of thousands of tons of weapons and looking the other way as these foreign fighters came into Syria may not have been the best approach,” McGurk said.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Huseyin Muftuoglu described the comments of the US special envoy as “provocative.”