Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, July 19th, 2018

US Raises Prospect Of Trump-Putin Meeting At the White House

US Raises Prospect Of Trump-Putin  Meeting At the White House

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration says it is amenable to a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, raising the prospect of the Russian president’s first Washington visit in more than a decade even as relations between the two powers have eroded.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House was among “a number of potential venues” discussed in Trump’s telephone call last month with Putin. The Kremlin said earlier Monday that Trump invited Putin during the call. Both sides said they hadn’t started preparations for such a visit. If it happens, Putin would be getting the honor of an Oval Office tete-a-tete for the first time since he met President George W. Bush at the White House in 2005. Alarms rang in diplomatic and foreign policy circles over the prospect that Trump might offer Putin that venue without confronting him about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election or allegations that Russia masterminded the March 4 nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent. “It would confer a certain normalization of relations and we’re certainly not in a normal space,” said Alina Polyakova, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Nothing about this is normal.” Much has happened since Trump and Putin spoke in the March 20 phone call. Trump said afterward he hoped to meet with Putin “in the not too distant future” to discuss the nuclear arms race and other matters. But their call was followed by reports that Trump had been warned in briefing materials not to congratulate the Russian president on his re-election but did so anyway. Since the call, two dozen countries, including the U.S. and many European Union nations, and NATO expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the former spy, and his daughter Yulia. Moscow has denied any involvement in the nerve attack and retaliated by expelling the same number of diplomats from each nation. (AP)