Trump to meet top Russian diplomat at the White House

Pool  Getty Images
Pool Getty Images

12 May, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walks to his auto as he leaves the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, following a meeting with President Donald Trump.

The uproar over Comey's dismissal complicated Lavrov's intended mission: securing United States support for a Russian plan to create safe zones in war-wracked Syria. However, President Trump was instead seated beside former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

"He also raised the possibility of broader cooperation on resolving conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere", the White House said in a statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Tillerson at the State Department before he was to head to the White House for talks with Trump.

The diplomats met Wednesday in Washington - and there's a new Russian-led agreement to create safe zones in Syria. "You're kidding. You're kidding" as he posed on Wednesday for photographs with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

An unidentified person asks again: "Does the Comey firing cast a shadow on your talks, gentlemen?"

"Was he fired? You're kidding".

Nauert says the leaders also discussed the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.

The Trump administration said Comey was sacked for mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, but Democrats ridiculed that notion, raising parallels to Watergate-era firings.

More news: Israel blamed as blast sparks fires at Damascus airport

President Donald Trump could meet with Vladimir Putin's top diplomat at the White House on Wednesday.

A Russian plan to stabilize Syria after more than six years of civil war was the most urgent foreign policy topic on the Trump-Lavrov agenda.

United States officials are harming their own people by saying that Russian Federation might have influenced the elections and is standing behind USA internal affairs, Lavrov also said.

In his earlier meeting with Lavrov, Tillerson emphasized the US wouldn't lift sanctions on Russian Federation related to Ukraine until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered the punishment - namely, its Crimea annexation.

Lavrov told reporters in a press conference that Washington's sanctions against Russian Federation were not part of his talks with the U.S. president.

Putin was suited up for a hockey game in Sochi, Russia, when a CBS correspondent found him and asked what he thought of President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

US reporters were not permitted to cover the meeting.

Lavrov laughed. "Well, you seem to be all grown-ups", he said, speaking through a translator.

Despite the lack of clarity, the meeting between Trump and Lavrov in itself was a sign of some progress.

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