Monday, 18 December 2017 12:57 GMT
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White House: No formal Trump-Putin meeting on Asia trip

(MENAFN - Trend News Agency ) President Donald Trump will not have a formal sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin while the two attend a summit, the White House said Friday shortly before Trump landed in Vietnam, the fourth stop on his first official visit to Asia, reports.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force Once, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed scheduling conflicts on both sides for the fact that the leaders will not meet formally during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit taking place in the coastal city of Danang.

But Sanders said it was "possible" and "likely" that they could have a less formal encounter, either in Danang or later in the Philippines when Trump and Putin attend another regional conference.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that there was no reason to schedule a meeting if the U.S. and Russia are unable to make significant progress on issues including Syria and Ukraine.

"The view has been if the two leaders are going to meet, is there something sufficiently substantive to talk about that would warrant a formal meeting," he said.

The news comes a day after Trump set aside his blistering rhetoric in favor of friendly overtures to China on Thursday, trying to flatter his hosts into establishing a more balanced trade relationship and doing more to blunt North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Winding down his two days in Beijing, Trump suggested that if the U.S. and China jointly took on the world's problems, "I believe we can solve almost all of them, and probably all of them."

In the name of furthering that relationship, Trump largely shelved his campaign complaints about China, at least in public. He focused on exhorting Beijing to help with North Korea, an effort expected again to take center stage at an international summit in Vietnam on Friday.

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White House: No formal Trump-Putin meeting on Asia trip

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