Trump Meets With Putin as G-20 Protests Rage
July 10, 2017 - Written by admin

President Donald Trump said Friday he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed “various things” and he anticipates future developments that are beneficial to both countries.

“I look forward to a lot of positive things happening for Russia and the United States,” Trump said at the beginning of his first official face-to-face meeting with Putin, a formal bilateral discussion that is overshadowing the gathering in Hamburg, Germany, of the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies.

The meeting is fraught with symbolism as Trump, still new to the world of global diplomacy, sits down with Putin, a former KGB agent, who came to power in what amounted to a Kremlin coup 17 years ago. Putin has a reputation for keeping negotiating partners off balance.

Observers are closely scrutinizing the meeting for signs of how the two leaders interact. Relations between Putin and former President Barack Obama were strained, and Trump repeatedly has said he would like to improve ties with Russia.

There is skepticism in the U.S. about Russia’s intentions, primarily as a result of ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia as it interfered in last November’s U.S. presidential election. Trump aides said the president might bring up the election-meddling issue, but he is not likely to dwell on it.

Lawmakers in both political parties have said Trump must confront Putin over the election interference. Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee member Adam Kinzinger said this week he would “raise holy hell” if Trump does not tell Putin that Russia must stop meddling in elections in the U.S. and elsewhere.

At an earlier stop in Poland, Trump accused Moscow of engaging in destabilizing behavior.

“We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and the defense of civilization itself,” he said.

Russia denied the charges.

The U.S. leader had other meetings scheduled with the leaders of Mexico and Britain on Friday.

Trump was also to join a discussion on climate, an issue driving many of the protesters who took to the streets of Hamburg again on the first day of the summit.

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