Theresa May and Donald Trump have agreed they now have a 'window of opportunity' to persuade Putin
The two leaders discussed the crisis in Syria in a telephone call on Monday and the US President thanked Mrs May for her backing of his military strikes against the Syrian government last week.
The pair agreed that Russia need to distance diplomatic relations with Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The phone call between the two leaders came as UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson issued a fresh appeal to the Russian President to abandon his backing for his Syrian ally at a G7 meeting yesterday.
Theresa May and Donald Trump discussed the Syria Crisis during a telephone call on Monday
A Downing Street spokesman said: "The President thanked the Prime Minister for her support in the wake of last week's US military action against the Assad regime.
"The Prime Minister and the president agreed that a window of opportunity now exists in which to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest.
"They agreed that US Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson's visit to Moscow this week provides an opportunity to make progress towards a solution which will deliver a lasting political settlement."
The Prime Minister and the president agreed that a window of opportunity now exists in which to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest
Downing Street spokesman
A Whitehall source earlier hinted that Russia may be encouraged to withdraw from Syria with the prospect of being able to rejoin the world’s leading G7 group, which is understood to be desired by Putin after he was suspended from the forum in 2014.
President Trump launched dozens of missiles on an air base in Syria last week, reportedly destroying up to 20 per cent of the nation’s operation aircraft.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Following the strike, the UK Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said the Government fully supported the Trump’s actions in response to the suspected suspended chemical weapons attack in Syria which killed least 86 people last week.
But Mrs May has also said she will refuse to back further US missile strikes in Syria.
Mrs May visited the White House earlier this year
Countries that support and oppose the missile strikes in Syria
Mon, April 10, 2017
European countries have been broadly supportive so far as President Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched
1 of 7
SYRIA OPPOSES: President Bashar al-Assad's office denounced the U.S. strike as 'reckless, irresponsible behavior.'
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis claimed the attack was a "measured response" to the use of chemical weapons.
During their call on Monday, Mrs May and Mr Trump also discussed other wider issues affecting the Middle East, including "the threat posed by Iran throughout the region", and the role of the international community and China in putting pressure on North Korea.
Mr Trump also called German chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Syria and the regime's use of "weapons of mass destruction against civilian men, women, and children”.
A spokesman said: "Prime Minister May and Chancellor Merkel expressed support for the action of the United States and agreed with President Trump on the importance of holding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable.
"President Trump and his counterparts agreed to stay in touch regarding Syria and other international issues of mutual concern."
Mr Johnson, during a meeting of G7 foreign ministers on Monday, warned senior Russian military officers that if they were could face international sanctions if they were found to be supporting President Assad's campaign of repression against his own people.
According to Mr Johnson, Trump's decision to launch cruise missiles against a Syrian air base had "changed the game" and the Russians had to decide which side they were on.
The Foreign Secretary said: ”We will be discussing the possibility of further sanctions certainly on some of the Syrian military figures and indeed on some of the Russian military figures who have been involved in co-ordinating the Syrian military efforts.”
Celebrities and Politicians React to Trump's Missile Attack on Syria
Fri, April 7, 2017
Following news of the attack, celebrities and politicians expressed their thoughts on social media
1 of 6
Trump ordered a massive military strike against a Syria
He also defended his decision to pull out of talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, saying it was important that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had the "clearest possible mandate" when he went to Moscow to deliver the response of the G7.
Mr Trump's son Eric said the US would not be "pushed around" by Mr Putin and the President is not intimidated by Moscow's talk of war.
He added that his father's action on Syria showed he was not tied to Russia, as some critics claim.
Former foreign secretary Lord Hague told the Daily Telegraph, the "sad truth" has dawned on President Trump that "Russia under Putin is not a reliable partner".