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Trump, Putin to meet for the first time in Hamburg Friday

Washington, (IINA) – United States’ President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to meet for the first time on Friday, both the Kremlin and the White House said Tuesday, confirming a long-anticipated meeting amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

The conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, terrorism and arms control are expected to be major topics during the meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg.

“We have agreed on the 7th [of July],” Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yury Ushakov, said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

A White House spokesman confirmed that the meeting will be held Friday afternoon, adding that it will be a normal bilateral meeting.

National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said there is still no agenda for Putin and Trump’s Friday meeting.

The US and Russia have been at odds over Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory and its support of the Syrian regime, with the US supporting anti-regime forces.

Tensions also have flared amid allegations of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump had expressed personal respect for Putin as a leader during his presidential campaign, and the Russian president was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on winning last November’s election.

The two leaders have spoken by phone at least twice since Trump took office. They started laying the groundwork for their meeting in Hamburg during a call in February.

However, US-Russian relations have deteriorated in recent months, as an ongoing US investigation into Russian meddling in the US presidential election focuses on possible collusion between Trump’s election campaign team and Russian officials.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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