Merkel, Trump discuss Syria cease-fire, Putin's new weapons

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Merkel, Trump discuss Syria cease-fire, Putin's new weapons
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference with the President of Serbia Aleksander Vucic after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken with President Donald Trump about the situation in Syria and Russia’s newly announced weapons systems.

Merkel’s office said Friday they spoke late Thursday, agreeing on the need for Syrian government forces and their Russian and Iranian allies to abide by a U.N. Security Council resolution for a cease-fire in Syria.

Merkel and Trump called on Russia to stop participating in the bombardment of Damascus’ rebel-held suburbs known as eastern Ghouta. They demanded the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad should be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons, attacks on civilians and the humanitarian blockade.

Merkel’s office said both leaders expressed concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unveiling of new weapons systems Thursday “and their negative consequences for international arms control efforts.”