Trump and Putin hold first face-to-face talks, agree on ceasefire in Syria

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have held their first face-to-face talks, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg, the BBC reports.

“It’s an honour to be with you,” Mr Trump told Mr Putin, who responded: “I’m delighted to meet you personally.”

“Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it’s going very well,” Mr Trump told reporters while sitting alongside Mr Putin at the start of the talks, which were open to the media.

“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.”

Mr Putin said that while they had spoken by phone, a phone conversation was never as good as meeting face to face.

Both men ignored shouted questions from reporters as the meeting went into private session.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Putin said: “I’ve had a very long conversation with the US president. We had a lot of issues to discuss, including Ukraine, Syria, and other problems, also some bilateral issues.

“We have again returned to the fight against terror and to cyber security.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson largely confirmed these were the topics covered, saying the leaders connected quickly and had positive chemistry.

Russia and the United States have agreed on a ceasefire in the south of Syria from 12.00 Damascus time on July 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after the talks of Russian and US presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, TASS reports.

“A ceasefire will come into force in that zone (Syria’s south – Daraa and Quneitra) at 12.00 Damascus time on July 9,” he said. “The United States has made a commitment that all the groups present there will observe the ceasefire.”

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