Trump says he has much to discuss with Putin

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Hamburg, July 7 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Friday said he looked forward to his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that will be held on the sidelines of G20 summit in Hamburg.

Trump and Putin are to finally meet face-to-face six months after the US leader’s arrival at the White House, a meeting that is to be held in the midst of the G20 Summit that gathers heads of state and government of the world’s major economies.

Trump expressed his thoughts on his Twitter account: “I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss.”

The long-awaited meeting between the US and Russian leaders is to take place after Trump gave a speech in Warsaw on Thursday, in which he highlighted his country’s commitment to the defence of central and eastern Europe and criticised Russia’s “destabilizing activities”.

The two leaders have spoken over phone at least twice since Trump’s inauguration on January 20.

The Kremlin stated that it expected the Trump-Putin meeting would establish “a working dialogue that is probably vital for the entire world” in order to solve “the critical amount of conflicts and problems that are growing every day”.

In Warsaw, Trump gave credibility to the idea that Russia may have actively interfered with the November 8 presidential election in his favour, as stated by top US intelligence officials.

“I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it well could have been other countries and I won’t be specific,” said Trump, adding that “nobody really knows for sure”.

Trump refrained from lambasting Russia for any electoral meddling, although he did criticise former President Barack Obama, saying the CIA briefed the ex-leader about Russian election meddling last August, but he “did nothing about it”.

–IANS

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