President Trump and Putin G-20 talk runs over two hours

President Trump and Putin G-20 talk runs over two hours
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7.(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for over two hours, after an initial plan to meet for just 30 minutes. The meeting took place behind closed doors, so most of the topics discussed are still secret, but the little bit of information starting to come out seems to indicate it was a productive two hours of cooperation between the two countries.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was able to report on some of the progress made during the meeting. He reported that the United States and Russia reached a ceasefire in Syria, and that Syrian President Assad and his family will step down from power, but how it happens and who replaces him is still in question.

They also spoke on North Korea. Tillerson agreed that Russia has a very different approach from the United States, and that Russia has economic ties there, but was quick to say that Russia also wants North Korea denuclearized.

Putin himself mentioned to Russian state media that Ukraine was brought up, and that a lot of the discussion revolved around terrorism and cybersecurity.

Tillerson mentioned how the two leaders connected very quickly and that there was a very positive chemistry. Melania Trump entered the meetings about an hour into them to ask if they wanted to finish up, but they were so engaged in the talk that they stayed an hour more.

Tillerson also mentioned how the talks were forward focused and that both presidents looked toward the future. They wanted to put the past behind, including election meddling issues, and focus on mutual progress in areas where the two countries seem to be inextricably linked.

“The president pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past,” said Tillerson. Tillerson mentioned that Putin wanted “proof” of any of his country’s interference with the U.S. elections.

The Trump-Putin meeting was one of the main events of this year’s G-20 summit. Although the G-20 has a broad agenda, the focus remains fixed on these two men.

The only time the two leaders have personally communicated prior to this G-20 summit was by phone.

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