US President hosts Russian foreign minister, envoy at White House

Jerome Frank
May 12, 2017

"I want to welcome the foreign minister to the State Department and express my appreciation for him making the trip to Washington so that we could continue our dialogue and our exchanges that began in Moscow", Tillerson told reporters.

Tillerson's office said his talks with Lavrov would focus on "Ukraine, Syria, and bilateral issues".

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov entered through the West Executive entrance, out of range for reporters to ask questions.

However, the administration also admitted that they had been misled on the photographer's role, saying, "We were not informed by the Russians that their official photographer was dual-hatted and would be releasing the photographs on the state news agency". He also referred to Mr Trump's aides as "people of action".

In a press conference at his embassy afterward, attended only by Russian media, Lavrov casually taunted the US over the federal investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election, which he derided as unproved.

The US has been fighting in Afghanistan for 16 years and now have 8,400 troops in the country.

"There are a great many outstanding questions about the circumstances of Director Comey's dismissal, the status of the executive branch investigation into the Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation, and what the future holds for these investigations", Schumer said. "We share an understanding that this should become a common step aimed at putting an end to violence across Syria".

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The Foreign Minister also mentioned several times that Russian Federation hopes to remove "barriers" to their relationship with the USA but did not elaborate further on what those were.

"President Trump clearly confirmed his interest in building mutually beneficial, business-like pragmatic relations", he said. Kislyak has been a key figure in investigations of alleged ties between Trump associates and the Russian government.

In their meeting, Trump told Lavrov that Russian Federation needs to rein in Syria's Assad, according to the White House.

Lavrov chalked up the controversy to "noise" and to "false news" - invoking Trump's frequent references to the Russian Federation allegations as "fake news". Ties soured further in April after the US blamed a Russian ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, for a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians and Trump ordered that some 60 cruise missiles be fired at a Syrian air base in response. Syrian rebels have ruled out respecting the safe zones, though Russia, Turkey, Iran, and the Syrian government will respect them.

Secretary of State Tillerson is very familiar with U.S. Trump recently described relations as being at an "all-time low".

Putin and Trump will meet in Hamburg in July, Sergey Lavrov has announced following the talks with the United States president, TASS reported. The US President further emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the US and Russian Federation.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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