Trump to meet Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Trump fires FBI director James Comey

Trump fires FBI director James Comey

The Russian diplomat steadfastly refused to weigh in on the firing during the meeting with Mr Trump.Mr Lavrov called it a U.S. decision, echoing Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Russia had nothing to do with Mr Comey's dismissal. No other details are disclosed.

Russia's foreign minister came to Washington on Wednesday amid a political firestorm over the surprise ouster of FBI Director James Comey, and greeted questions about the topic with humor.

An agitated Lavrov said, "Was he fired?"

"I want to welcome Foreign Minister Lavrov to the State Department and express my appreciation for making the trip to Washington so that we can continue our dialogue and our exchange of views that began in Moscow", Tillerson said, before ushering Lavrov away. "We have not seen a single fact, a single proof".

After the White House meeting, Tillerson and Lavrov are expected to depart for Alaska to attend a meeting of the Arctic Council, which the United States has chaired for the past two years.

"The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", Tillerson said at the time. French human rights and civil liberties activist Yasser Louati says many of Le Pen's ideas have always been seeping into the mainstream of French politics.

But the first question for Lavrov was about Comey, who until Tuesday was overseeing an investigation into the relationship between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The Russian Embassy had sent out the photo as Trump was set to meet Lavrov on Wednesday.

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Lavrov said Trump was seeking "mutually beneficial" and "pragmatic" relations with Russian Federation.

Lavrov chalked up the controversy to "noise" and to "false news" - invoking Trump's frequent references to the Russian Federation allegations as "fake news".

But Lavrov said he detected a US willingness to participate, especially with a zone being formed in Syria's south, near the border with Israel and Jordan.

"That's the United States' internal affair", said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin.

Over the past six years, Moscow and Washington have sparred multiple times over the conflict in Syria, especially concerning Assad's fate. Nevertheless, Lavrov struck a conciliatory tone and said Russian Federation isn't intending to retaliate.

Donald Trump has defended his controversial sacking of James Comey - claiming the Federal Bureau of Investigation director "was not doing a good job". -Russian cooperation on counterterrorism, the point on which Russian state-backed media reports the two countries can "rather easily" find common ground - but Trump's hopes for a warmer relationship with Moscow could yet be upended by the multiple probes into his campaign's possible ties with Russia. The Russian foreign minister will also meet his counterpart, Rex Tillerson.

The attempt at a reset didn't work and relations between the United States and Russian Federation at the end of the Obama administration plunged to Cold War-era lows.

President Trump added that the pair discussed Ukraine and he stressed Russia's responsibility to implement the Minsk agreement to halt the country's war.

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