Meeting between Trump and Putin longer than planned

President Trump Putin G20President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Meeting between Trump and Putin lasted two hours longer than planned

The first face to face between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Hamburg lasted almost two hours longer than the 35 minutes that were set aside.

 

In a short break when journalists got to peek into the room, Trump stated that the meeting went “very, very well.” He seemed relaxed and casual as he sat in front of an American flag, while Putin seemed more determined.

Before the meeting started Trump said that he expected positive results for both countries. Putin, on his part, said through his interpreter that he has talked with Trump on the phone several times, but that you have to sit down together if you want to achieve a positive relationship.

The US president told his Russian counterpart that it was an honour to be with him, while Putin said he was thrilled to meet Trump.

The two presidents, their foreign ministers and interpreters were present at the meeting, which according to the plan should have lasted one half hour only. The two met while the rest of the G20 summit discussed climate change. This means that the two presidents are bypassing the climate debate at the G20 meeting.

Already in the morning hours the two met with each other. They shook hands and exchanged a few words. Trump then patted Putin on the back before the group photo of all the top leaders was taken.

Russia investigation

Trump Melania G20 Hamburg

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and his wife Melania arrive for a concert on the first day of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Friday, July 7, 2017. The leaders of the group of 20 meet July 7 and 8. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

There is a great deal of excitement about how the chemistry between the leaders of the two great powers will be. Their body language becomes a rule of thumb and will probably be scrutinized down to the smallest detail, writes the news agency Reuters.

Both before and after being elected president, Trump has been accused of not being critical enough towards Russia and Putin.

US intelligence organizations believe Russia last year supported a comprehensive secret campaign to elect Trump as president. One of many methods that supposedly has been used was data attacks directed at the Democratic Party. The FBI is investigating the matter, and the US Congress has also started own investigations.

The charges have been refuted by the Russian Government, and there is as of now no evidence that Trump’s people cooperated with the Russians. But Trump’s critics will keep an eye on how the atmosphere will be at the first meeting between him and the Russian president.

Decisive meeting

Putin has met three other US presidents before Trump. Trump is on his side is still a novice in the role as a politician. Political circles in Washington are curious about how the meeting between the inexperienced, impulsive Trump, and the experienced old fox, Vladimir Putin, will end up.

The Kremlin has called the meeting between the two as essential for security and stability. Putin earlier this year described the relationship between the two countries as being deteriorated after Trump came to power.

Thursday went Trump hard out against Russia – something he has not tended to do previously.

We urge Russia to end its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and not support hostile regimes – including Syria and Iran – but instead join responsible states in our fight against common enemies in defense of civilization itself, he said in a speech in the Polish capital Warsaw.

US intelligence organizations maintain that Russia tried to influence last year’s election

Donald Trump on Friday raised the issue that US intelligence organizations maintain that Russia tried to influence last year’s election campaign in the United States in talks with Vladimir Putin.

He believes the reason why no more was present is that the Trump administration is very concerned about leaks. When Lavrov visited the White House, it did not take much time before it was made public that Trump allegedly told the Russian Foreign Minister that the sacked FBI boss James Comey was a “weirdo”. Lavrov refutes that this occured.

– Everything they do is being scrutinized by the media. Now Tillerson can come out and report from the meeting without anyone having the opportunity to refute it. Therefore their version will dominate in the media, says Szakonyi.

Ceasefire in Syria

Shortly after the meeting, and just before he was meeting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vladimir Putin briefly told him what he and Trump had discussed. Putin mentioned topics such as the situation in Ukraine and Syria, as well as the fight against terrorism and cyber security, according to the Russian-controlled news site Sputnik News.

Putin denies that it happened. Russians have asked to presented with evidence.

– I will leave that to intelligence organizations to deal with, says US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the media following the first meeting of the two presidents, held in conjunction with the G20 meeting in Hamburg.

Tillerson, who was present at the meeting, stated that Donald Trump pressured the Russian president on this repeatedly. The US president supposedly opened the meeting with this issue, and Tillerson describes it as a “robust and lengthy discussion”.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs further says that it is unlikely that the two countries will agree on what actually happened but that they agreed that the case has become an obstacle to improving relations between the United States and Russia.

– The question is how we ensure that Russia will not try to do such a thing in the future, says Tillerson

His Russian colleague, Sergei Lavrov, says, according to the news agency AP, that Trump accepted Putin’s explanation that Russia did not try to influence.

Facts about the participants at the G20 meeting in Hamburg

  • Among the participants who will be at the center of the press and protesters’ interests are: US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s Saudi Arabian delegation has had 30 lambs flown in specially, to be cooked by the king’s chefs at the Vier Jahreszeiten hotel. The king himself has canceled the journey.
  • The president’s limousine nick-named “the beast” will bring President Donald Trump through Hamburg’s streets
  • A total of 36 delegations with a total of 6,000 participants are expected to attend the meeting.
  • The G20 countries represent close to two thirds of the world’s population.
  • 42 participants receive special protection because German police consider them as being particularly threatened.
  • 11 police helicopters will survey the meeting.

There are 14 checkpoints attached to the security zones surrounding the meeting.

  • Around 19,000 police officers will oversee the 100,000 demonstrators waiting for the closing demonstration on July 8 under the slogan “Limitless Solidarity, not the G20”.
  • The demonstrators are banned from a zone encompassing 38 square kilometers.
  • The police will deploy at total of 185 dogs and 70 horses.

The authorities have set up containment areas where they can detain up to 400 demonstrators if they are considered a threat.

400 kilos of sausages and 12,000 chocolate bars are included in the 15 tons of food the media centre has procured for the international press.

Trump participated in parts of the climate talks during the G20

German Prime Minister Angela Merkel says most of the G20 countries at the Hamburg Summit support the Paris agreement.

– It will be very interesting to see how we formulate the statement tomorrow and make it clear that there are several different opinions about the matter, as the United States regrettably wishes to withdraw from the Paris agreement, Merkel said Thursday evening.

US President Donald Trump has already announced that he wants to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement.

according to Merkel, Trump participated in the first part of the climate talks during the summit. At a press conference after the afternoon’s program, Merkel said that the US president also spoke during the climate negotiations.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

 

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