World

Trump: 'I look forward to very positive things happening'

US and Russian presidents finally meet in person at G-20 summit

HAMBURG, GERMANY: US President Donald Trump called it an "honour" to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time and said he looked forward to positive things happening in the relationship between the former Cold War rivals.

They met for the first time in the much-anticipated meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit yesterday.

"Mr Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it's going very well," Mr Trump told reporters, sitting alongside the Russian president.

"We've had some very, very good talks. We're going to have a talk now and obviously that will continue.

"We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia, for the United States and for everybody concerned.

"And it's an honour to be with you."

Mr Putin, through a translator, said that while the two had spoken by phone, a phone conversation is never enough, calling their meeting an important bilateral discussion.

He said: "I am delighted to meet you personally."

As investigations at home continue into whether there was any collusion between Mr Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, the US president has come under pressure to take a hard line against the Kremlin.

Moscow has denied any interference, and Mr Trump says his campaign did not collude with Russia.

On Thursday, Mr Trump won praise from at least one Republican hawk in the US Congress after a speech in Warsaw in which he urged Russia to stop its "destabilising activities" and end its support for Syria and Iran.

The remarks were among Mr Trump's sharpest about Moscow since becoming president, though they stopped short of any personal criticism of Mr Putin.

GREAT START

"This is a great start to an important week of American foreign policy," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has often been critical of Mr Trump on security issues.

Meanwhile, the US is making good progress on trade issues with Mexico, Mr Trump said yesterday after a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

But Mr Trump also repeated a pledge to make the southern neighbour pay for a border wall.

Asked at the meeting with Mr Nieto if he still wanted Mexico to pay for the wall, Mr Trump said: "Absolutely."

He added: "We're negotiating North American Free Trade Agreement and some other things with Mexico and we'll see how it all turns out, but I think that we've made very good progress." - REUTERS

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