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President Donald Trump arrives at Danang International Airport, Vietnam, on Friday. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia travelling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Photo: AP
President Donald Trump arrives at Danang International Airport, Vietnam, on Friday. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia travelling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Photo: AP

Donald Trump scraps possible formal meeting with Vladimir Putin as results unclear

Donald Trump will not meet formally with Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam this week, amid US concerns that the meeting wouldn't create genuine progress on key issues

Beijing/Danang: President Donald Trump will not meet formally with Russian president Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam this week, the White House said Friday, amid US concerns that the meeting wouldn’t create genuine progress on key issues.

The Kremlin had announced that both sides were working on a suitable time and format for a meeting when both men are in Vietnam starting Friday. But US secretary of state Rex Tillerson had downplayed the possibility in an interview on his flight from China to Vietnam. He said if there wasn’t the likelihood of progress on a number of issues, there was no point to a meeting.

Any Putin-Trump meeting is fraught with political complications for Trump, as his campaign and his administration face investigations over ties to the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. Those probes have been heating up in recent weeks, with charges filed against Trump’s former campaign manager and a foreign policy campaign aide.

The news came a day after Trump met with Chinese president Xi Jinping over many of the same questions he would have discussed with Putin, notably how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Bloomberg

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