Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin hold historic summit; vow 'extraordinary relationship'

16 July 2018, 09:57 PM
Trump, Putin go one-on-one; promise 'extraordinary relationship' (File Photo)
Trump, Putin go one-on-one; promise 'extraordinary relationship' (File Photo)

Opening a historical summit with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump on Monday promised an "extraordinary relationship" while the former said it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world.

"I think we have great opportunities together. Frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years. I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship," ANI quoted Trump as saying.

Taking to Twitter Trump earlier wrote, "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!".

Looking sombre, the two leaders exchanged opening remarks in front of the press while starting the bilateral summit at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland.

The US and Russian leaders also shook hands during their one-on-one meet while Trump congratulated the later for hosting the best ever FIFA World Cup 2018, which ended on Sunday with France crowned World Champions of the year.

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The historic summit further witnessed discussions on everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China. "We will be talking a little bit about China, our mutual friend, President Xi," Trump said.

The US president acclaimed the meeting's potential with Putin saying "The time has come to talk in a substantive way about our relations and problem areas of the world".

Following their historical summit, the duo also held an expanded bilateral meeting and a joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland.

Addressing the conference, Putin said, "As major nuclear powers, we (Russia and the US) bear a special responsibility for maintaining international security".

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"I think we can call it a success and a very fruitful round of negotiations...The cold war is a thing of the past," the Russian president asserted.

Terming his bilateral meet with Trump "a good conversation", Putin stated, "I hope we start to understand each other better and I'm grateful to Donald for it. Clearly, there are some challenges left, we were not able to clear all the backlog, but I think we made the first important step".

Trump, on the other hand, stressed on the crisis in war-torn Syria and said, "Cooperation between our 2 countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives. I also made clear that US won't allow Iran to take benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS".

Reacting on allegations of Russia intervening in 2016 election in the United States, Putin said, "Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interest of the United States of America and I do defend the interest of Russian Federation".

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The Russian president also handed a football over Trump adding that the "ball is now in your court and all the more that US will host the World cup in 2026".

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First Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 06:00 PM
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