Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Trump to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Wednesday

Trump to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Wednesday

Trump "raised the possibility of broader co-operation on resolving conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere", according to a White House statement. No other details are disclosed.

Washington has given the deal a skeptical welcome, citing concerns about Iran's role as a guarantor even as it expressed hope the agreement could set the stage for a later settlement.

On Syria, where Russian Federation has backed President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the USA has supported anti-Assad rebels, the talks appeared to indicate a slight narrowing of differences.

"Was he fired? You're kidding", Lavrov said in a deadpan before shrugging and turning to walk away next to Tillerson.

Before Lavrov met with Trump, he joined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to discuss multiple worldwide issues at the State Department.

"We will look at the proposal, see if it can work", Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said Monday.

The White House said the president urged Mr Lavrov to "rein in" the Assad regime in Syria during their meeting.

Russian Federation and the United States reached a conceptual agreement on geographical aspects of the de-escalations zones in Syria, Lavrov said.

Diplomatically, Lavrov said he would keep the button on his desk.

Lavrov says American politicians who are raising questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election are damaging the USA political system by suggesting it's being controlled by outsiders.

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Lavrov is speaking at the Russian Embassy in Washington after meetings with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Lavrov is familiar with the Russian hacking and meddling line, having denied his government's involvement in trying to influence the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.

As controversy swirled, it might stand to reason that Trump would want to be as transparent as possible to avoid any additional criticism.

"During the meeting, current issues on the Russian agenda were discussed".

Trump is expected to hold his first meeting with Putin in July, when both travel to Germany to a summit of the Group of 20 leading and developing world economies.

Trump said at the time that Assad's government had gone "beyond a red line" with a poison gas attack on civilians and said his attitude toward Syria and Assad had changed.

Nevertheless, Mr Lavrov struck a conciliatory tone and said Russian Federation is not intending to retaliate.

In Moscow, meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin met Wednesday with his security council to discuss US-Russian relations in the context of Lavrov's meeting with Trump, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the RIA Novosti news agency. The Russian foreign minister will also meet his counterpart, Rex Tillerson.

In 2009, under then-President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously presented Lavrov with a "reset" button to symbolically restart US-Russia relations.

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