Sunday 18 August 2019

White House: No formal Trump-Putin meeting on Asia trip

Security and trade have dominated Mr Trump's trip to Asia (AP)
Security and trade have dominated Mr Trump's trip to Asia (AP)

President Donald Trump will not have a formal sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin while the two attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit , the White House has said.

Shortly before Mr Trump landed in Vietnam, the fourth stop on his first official visit to Asia, W hite House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed scheduling conflicts on both sides for the fact that the leaders will not meet formally during the summit in the coastal city of Danang.

But Ms Sanders said it was "possible" and "likely" that they could have a less formal encounter, either in Danang or later in the Philippines when Mr Trump and Mr Putin attend another regional conference.

"Now, they're going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely," she said. "But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there's not one on the calendar and we don't anticipate that there will be one."

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that there was no reason to schedule a meeting if the US and Russia are unable to make significant progress on issues including Syria and Ukraine.

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