Published On: Wed, May 10th, 2017

Trump, Tillerson meet Russia’s top diplomat at White House

Araweelo News Network

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) speaks while posing for photos with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Treaty Room of the State Department in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Washington(ANN)-Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met with US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington, on a trip overshadowed by the firing of former FBI chief James Comey.

Lavrov met with Trump and Tillerson on Wednesday as he visited the White House for the first time since August 2013.

Trump said meeting with the top Russian diplomat was “very good.”

US sanctions not on agenda

Lavrov told reporters in a press conference that Washington’s sanctions against Russia were not part of his talks with the US president.

America and its Western allies have imposed a series of economic ban against the Kremlin for what they call its active role in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

According to him, both meetings revolved around resolving the ongoing conflict in Syria and Tillerson’s proposals for de-escalation zones in the country.

Still, he said the dialogues were free of the ideology that hampered US-Russia ties under Barack Obama, Trump’s predecessor.

Unlike Obama, Trump has been open to working with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The two heads of state spoke over the phone last week, where they discussed deescalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula and promoting a diplomatic solution in Syria.

Tillerson said ahead of the meeting that his counterpart was there to continue “our dialogue and our exchanges that began in Moscow,” referring to their previous talks in the Russian capital last month.

Alleged Russian meddling in 2016 election

The meetings, which were first announced by Tillerson last week, come at a time when according to the state secretary US-Russia ties remain “at a low point.

FBI Director James Comey (Photo by AFP)

Lavrov’s trip was preceded by Trump’s surprise dismissal of Comey, who was overseeing two important investigations that shaped Trump’s last year victory against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Lavrov joked about Comey’s firing upon arrival, telling curious reporters: “Was he fired?… You’re kidding, you’re kidding!”

Before the election, Comey led a controversial probe into Clinton’s use of a personal server to exchange government emails while she was secretary of state.

After the election, he began investigating Trump’s alleged ties to Russia as well as a series of cyber attacks against Clinton’s campaign, which Democrats claimed were conducted by Russian hackers.

Lavrov addressed the issue in his press conference, saying the fabricated stories were hurting ties between the two countries.

“As for the talk and noise raised around our relations, around fabrications saying that we are in charge of the domestic politics (of the US), of course we have observed this absolutely abnormal background on which our relations are developing,” he told reporters.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed the claims as a “political witch hunt.”

Lavrov is the highest Russian official to meet with Trump since his presidency.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: or Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 442 5380 /

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