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Putin, Trump have 'good conversation'

By Ren Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-13 09:35
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Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump as they attend a commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of the First World War at the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, France, November 11, 2018. Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a brief but good conversation with US President Donald Trump at World War I centenary events in Paris on Sunday, media said.

Earlier, Putin had said he wouldn't have enough time in Paris to speak with his US counterpart.

"Not yet. We have just said hello," Putin told Russia's RT television on Sunday when asked whether he had spoken with the Trump and whether there is any progress on debatable issues.

"The ceremony was organized in such a way that we could not speak with each other. We only watched the ceremony," he said.

However, the French presidency said the two leaders had a wide-ranging discussion during lunch after the commemoration.

Host and French President Emmanuel Macron was there and German Chancellor Angela Merkel took part in some of the exchanges, the presidency said.

Subjects discussed included the situation in the Middle East, notably Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the Korean Peninsula issue.

Around 70 world leaders were in Paris to mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice on Sunday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump had sat with world leaders including Putin, Macron and Merkel at lunch and the group had held "very good and productive discussions".

"The leaders discussed a variety of issues, including the INF (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty)," she said.

Putin said he hopes to have talks with Trump during the G20 summit in Argentina, Tass news agency reported.

Putin stressed the importance of dialogues for the resumption of a comprehensive negotiating process on the INF treaty.

Trump said on Oct 20 that Washington would withdraw from the INF treaty because Russia was violating the terms of the agreement. and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called it a dangerous step.

"It is more important to maintain dialogue not even at a top or high level but at a level of experts. I hope a comprehensive negotiating process will be resumed," Putin said in an interview with RT.

Putin said Russia is ready for dialogue. "It is not us who are withdrawing from treaty. It is the US that plans to do that," he said. "Both sides want to resume dialogue."

About the possible meeting of the two presidents in Argentina, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said there are difficulties ahead.

"Circumstances keep on changing. They may change with our American colleagues and with us, that is why there are no firm agreements," he said.


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