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Date TimeNovember 11, 2017
VoiceDANANG, Vietnam (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed a statement on Syria during a brief meeting at a summit in Vietnam on Saturday and Putin again dismissed allegations of meddling in last year’s U.S. election.

Putin and Trump talk Syria, election meddling at brief meeting

It was their first encounter since July and came at a time that U.S.-Russia relations have been battered and Trump is haunted by the accusations that Putin influenced the election that brought him to the White House.
Trump said their agreement to support a political solution to Syria’s conflict would save “tremendous numbers of lives”.
“We did it very quickly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One after leaving the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the resort of Danang for Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. “We seem to have a very good feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well.”
Talking after their meeting, Putin described Trump as “a well-mannered person and comfortable to deal with”.
“We know each other little, but the U.S. president is highly civil in his behavior, friendly. We have a normal dialogue but unfortunately little time,” he said.
After emphasizing last year on the campaign trail that it would be nice if the United States and Russia could work together on world problems, Trump has had limited contact with Putin since taking office.
The sight of Trump sitting down with Putin in public also revives the issue of election meddling - still under investigation. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been indicted in the probe along with his former deputy, Rick Gates.
Trump said Putin had told him again that he hadn’t meddled in the election.
“I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said of the accusations. “I think he’s very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
Putin dismissed suggestions Russia influenced the elections through political advertising. Tech companies, including Facebook, have said some Russian-bought political content spread on their platforms around the time of the election.

Putin and Trump talk Syria, election meddling at brief meeting

“There is no confirmation of our mass media meddling in election campaigns – and there can’t be any,” Putin said.

NO SIT-DOWN
Scheduling and unspecified protocol issues were to blame for the fact that a mooted sit-down meeting with Trump did not happen in Danang, Putin said.

Putin and Trump talk Syria, election meddling at brief meeting
Trump said they had two or three very short conversations.
They were seen chatting amicably as they walked to the position where the traditional APEC summit photo was being taken at a viewpoint looking over the South China Sea.
Pictures from the APEC meeting also showed Trump walking up to Putin at the summit table and patting him on the back. They also shook hands at the summit dinner on Friday evening.
It would be a great thing to have a good relationship with Russia, Trump said.

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