Trump, Putin Discuss Syria, North Korea, Set up Meeting in July

Last month, Moscow ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed working together to end the violence in Syria on Tuesday in their first phone call since US air strikes in Syria strained US-Russian relations.

The White House said the two leaders agreed that "all parties must do all they can to end the violence" in Syria and that Trump and Putin also discussed working together against Islamic militants throughout the Middle East.

"The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons," a White House statement said.

The statement further added that Washington will send a representative to Syrian cease-fire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, in a statement released by the Kremlin, Russia said that Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump have agreed to to meet in July around the time of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Earlier, Trump's decision to launch 59 cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield on 4 April in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack angered the Russians and led to some bitter exchanges between the two governments.

(With inputs from Reuters)