Trump, Rus­sia dis­cuss Syria, Iran amid FBI con­tro­versy

New Straits Times - - News -

WASH­ING­TON: Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov met Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day and praised the United States ad­min­is­tra­tion as prob­lem solvers, just as the White House drew crit­i­cism over the fir­ing of the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion di­rec­tor who was lead­ing a probe into Moscow’s al­leged in­ter­fer­ence in US pol­i­tics.

The talks with Lavrov were the high­est-level pub­lic con­tact be­tween Trump and the gov­ern­ment of Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin since the Repub­li­can took of­fice on Jan 20.

It is a rare priv­i­lege for a for­eign min­is­ter to be re­ceived by a US pres­i­dent for a bi­lat­eral meet­ing in the White House.

Trump on Tues­day fired FBI di­rec­tor James Comey, as the agency was in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and the pos­si­bil­ity Trump as­so­ci­ates might have col­luded with Moscow.

Democrats ac­cused Trump of try­ing to slow down the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by fir­ing the FBI chief.

Days be­fore Comey was fired, he re­quested more re­sources to pur­sue his in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

It was unclear whether word of the Comey re­quest, put to Deputy At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein, ever made its way to Trump.

Trump de­scribed his talks with Lavrov as “very, very good.”

Asked whether the Comey dis­missal had af­fected his meet­ing, Trump said: “Not at all.”

He and Lavrov said they dis­cussed the civil war in Syria, where Rus­sia backs Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad.

“We want to see the killing, the hor­ri­ble killing, stopped in Syria as soon as pos­si­ble and ev­ery­one is work­ing to­ward that end,” Trump said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.