MIAMI (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House Wednesday – with Syria and US-Russia relations at the top of the agenda.
The 25-minute sit-down marks the President’s highest-level in-person contact with Russia since taking office.
Cameras caught Lavrov going into the White House but the U.S. Press Corps was kept out of his Oval Office meeting with President Trump. Instead, they were given handout photos from the Russian government.
President Trump spoke about the meeting after Lavrov left the grounds
“I thought it was very good. What we want to do is see the horrible killing in Syria stop as soon as possible. I think everybody’s working to that end,” said President Trump.
Improving US-Russia relations was also a chief topic. Lavrov said he appreciated the business-like approach of President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“They’re will to negotiate and come to an agreement in order to address and settle certain issues,” said Lavrov.
The high-profile face-to-face comes just a day after the president fired FBI Director James Comey who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election and possible ties between Trump associates and Moscow.
Lavrov brushed off questions about Comey’s removal.
“Was he fired? You are kidding you are kidding,” said Lavrov in a sarcastic tone.
CBS News Correspondent Liz Palmer caught-up with Russian President Vladimir Putin before a hockey game in Sochi, Russia and asked how the firing would impact U.S.- Russia relations.
“There will be no effect,” said Putin.
Putin asked President Trump to meet with his top diplomat, also in attendance at the White House meeting was the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak who was entangled in the dismissal of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
President Trump also discussed Ukraine and broader cooperation on conflicts in the Middle East with Foreign Minister Lavrov. The president is set to meet Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in July.
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