The Prime Minister called the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, this morning to discuss the situation in Syria.
The Prime Minister updated the President on the recent House of Commons vote and the strong mandate the UK government now has to take part in airstrikes in Syria, as well as Iraq, to target Daesh.
The Prime Minister and President agreed that the UK and Russia should work together, with other international partners, to tackle Daesh and the threat it poses, and on the political process to bring peace to Syria.
Agreeing that military action alone would not defeat Daesh, both leaders discussed the importance of a political process to deliver peace in Syria and the Prime Minister underlined the need for a government that all the Syrian people can support.
Discussing the Vienna talks, the Prime Minister and President agreed that the focus should be on implementing the agreements made and working to the timelines set for establishing a transitional government and for presidential elections to be held. They noted the talks taking place in Riyadh, hosted by the Saudi Arabia government and bringing together opposition groups, with the Prime Minister reiterating that those signed up to the Geneva principles should be part of these talks.
They also agreed on the need to cut off terrorist financing and the Prime Minister highlighted that the UK’s first airstrikes in Syria had targeted oil fields that Daesh is plundering to fund its brutal activities.
The Prime Minister expressed his condolences to President Putin over the recent death of the Russian pilot. They agreed that it was important to wait for the investigation to establish what had happened and the Prime Minister said he would consider President Putin’s request to send British experts to assist the investigation.