Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Trump, top Russia envoy to meet at White House

Kenny Thornton | 11 May, 2017, 20:45

The US president recently described them as being at an "all-time low" but his talks with Sergey Lavrov mark the highest level, face-to-face contact with Russian Federation of the American leader's term in office.

Lavrov's visit, confirmed by the White House late Tuesday, centers on a Russian proposal to de-escalate the violence in Syria's civil war.

In addition to the tensions between Washington and Moscow over geopolitics, the meetings between Tillerson and Lavrov, and now between Trump and the Russian foreign minister, come against a backdrop of recriminations over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections and the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

The sacking prompted angry Democrats to call for the Russian Federation probe to be placed in the hands an independent prosecutor or commission.

The Russian Embassy had sent out the photo as Trump was set to meet Lavrov on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump is planning to meet with Russia's top diplomat at the White House Wednesday at a time he describes the U.S. -Russia relationship to be at an "all-time low".

Earlier Wednesday, Lavrov met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said the get-together was a chance for the two to "continue our dialogue" and "exchange of views" that they started last month in Moscow.

The meeting was Trump's highest level face-to-face contact with a Russian official since taking office and in itself represented modest progress.

Bradley scores 29, Celtics powers past Wizards 123-101
Game 7 would be in Boston on Monday. "I see what we did to Kelly Olynyk , so I'm not going to be surprised by anything". Up two games to none, the Celtics appeared to be in cruise control towards the showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Russia, a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has taken a central role in ongoing Syria peace talks, while the United States - which continues to target ISIS in Syria and Iraq as part of an global coalition - has not been directly involved.

Lavrov's visit risked being overshadowed by the firing of Comey.

Several ceasefires have been agreed on since Syria's conflict broke out in 2011, but they have failed to permanently stem the fighting.

The White House says Trump emphasized his desire for better relations with Russian Federation.

Both countries have recently indicated that relations under Trump have never been so bad.

In his earlier meeting with Lavrov, Tillerson emphasized the USA wouldn't lift sanctions on Russian Federation related to Ukraine until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered the punishment - namely, its Crimea annexation. The only photographers in the room were the official White House photographer and a photographer from Tass, a state-run news agency.

In contrast, he credited Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom he met earlier in the day, with taking a "businesslike" approach that is "free from ideology", focused on reaching agreements.

Nauert says the leaders also discussed the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.


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