A day after firing the head of the agency investigating his administration’s ties to Russia, President Donald Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House for talks focusing largely on Syria.
“I had a very good meeting with Lavrov. I thought it was very, very good,” Trump told reporters after the meeting.
Sitting in the Oval Office with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at his side, Trump gave few details about his discussion with the Russian diplomat. “I think that we’re going to do very well with respect to Syria,” he said. “I think things are happening that are really, really, really positive. We’re going to stop the killing and the death.”
The Lavrov visit marks the highest-level meeting Trump has held with a top Moscow official since assuming power, and it comes a month after the president said relations between Washington and Moscow may be at an all-time low.
Speaking to reporters at the Russian embassy after the meeting, Lavrov was more specific.
“We discussed Syria in great detail in the context of the ideas that have been put forth regarding the setting up of de-escalation areas,” he said. “We have got a common understanding regarding the fact that that should be a step that would contribute to the cessation of violence throughout the territory of Syria. It will be a step to contribute to the settlement of humanitarian problems.”