Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump may meet on the sidelines of an economic summit in Vietnam next week to discuss a range of issues, including ways to settle the Syrian conflict, the Kremlin says.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a Syria solution “is being discussed” for the agenda of the likely meeting, noting that it was in the interest of both countries to discuss the issue, Russia’s RIA news agency reported on Saturday.
“Somehow or another it requires cooperation,” Peskov said. This week, Trump told Fox News that he might meet Putin at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“We may have a meeting with Putin,” Trump said. “And, again – Putin is very important because they can help us with North Korea. They can help us with Syria. We have to talk about Ukraine,” he pointed out.
Differences between the US and Russia over the Syrian crisis have furthered widened after Russia vetoed a UN plan to continue probing suspected chemical attacks in Syria.
While Russia has been providing support for the Syrian government in its fight against terrorism at the Arab country’s request, the US has been leading a coalition to fight against purported positions of Daesh terrorists in Syria without any authorization from the government in Damascus.
Meanwhile, Russia, along with Iran and Turkey, has been mediating peace talks between the Damascus government and the opposition in the Kazakh capital Astana, which have so far led to the successful creation of four de-escalation zones across Syria.
The possible talks between the Russian and US presidents come amid escalating tensions between the two over allegations of Russian intervention in the 2016 US presidential election.
American intelligence agencies claimed in January that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to try to help then Republican candidate Trump defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The intelligence agencies claimed Moscow’s interference included a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her campaign.
Moscow and Washington are also at loggerheads over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine and its Western allies, including the US, accuse Russia of having a hand in the conflict, an allegation denied by Moscow.
Putin and Trump first met at a G20 summit in Hamburg in July and discussed allegations of Russian meddling in US polls, but they agreed to focus on improving relations.
Culled from Presstv