Trump, Putin will hold official face-to-face meeting at G20

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold their first official meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday, July 7, according to the White House and the Kremlin.

The two world leaders were initially expected to hold an informal sideline meeting during the G20 summit, however, the scheduled talk was upgraded into an official conference on Tuesday.

“It is planned as a fully-fledged, ‘seated’ meeting,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

The White House seconded the Kremlin’s description, describing the agreed meeting as “a normal bilateral meeting.”

No specific agenda was released in regard to which issues are to be discussed when the pair meet.

The conference comes as relations between the two nations remain at a low point over the crises in Syria and Ukraine, and alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Tensions between the two nations rose dramatically in April when Trump ordered a retaliatory  missile attack on a Syrian airfield alleged to be the base from which Syria allegedly carried out a chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun in which dozens were reported killed.

Both Moscow and Damascus deny complicity in the attack and have maintained the deaths were caused by an airstrike which hit a chemical store operated by Syrian opposition forces.

The much-anticipated maiden meeting between Trump and Putin will be the first formal meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and Russia in two years.

Although President Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House in May and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken by phone several times, former President Obama limited his 2016 G20 appearance to a sideline meeting with Putin.

The annual G20 meeting, which consists of 19 economically advanced countries and the European Union, runs for two days in Hamburg beginning on July 7.

 

[The Guardian] [RT News] [Photo courtesy Sky News]