US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he had a very good meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki during which they discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues.
Trump, who returned to the US on Monday after his first summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, said that the two leaders are planning to have more meetings in the future.
During the two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, they talked about numerous things, including the Middle East, Syria, Iran, and terrorism, he told reporters at the White House.
“I entered the negotiations with President Putin from a position of tremendous strength.
Our economy is booming and our military is being funded USD 700 billion this year, USD 716 billion next year. It will be more powerful as a military than we’ve ever had before,” he said.
He said that they also spoke of Iran.
The US ended the Iran nuclear deal, which was one of the worst deals anyone could imagine, he said, adding that this has had a major impact on Iran and it has substantially weakened Iran.
He hoped that at some point Iran will call the US and will make a new deal.
Iran, he said, is not the same country that it was five months ago. They’re no longer looking so much to the Mediterranean and the entire Middle East. They’ve got some big problems that they can solve probably much easier if they deal with the US.
Trump said he and Putin discussed Israel and its security. A major topic of discussion was North Korea and the need for it to remove its nuclear weapons.
“Russia has assured us of its support, President Putin said he agrees with me 100 per cent and they’ll do whatever they have to do to try and make it happen,” he said, adding that there is no rush for speed in talks with North Korea.
“The sanctions are remaining, the hostages are back, there have been no tests, there have been no rockets going up for a period of nine months and I think the relationships are very good, so we’ll see how that goes,” Trump said, adding that they have no time limit.
According to Trump, perhaps the most important issue they discussed was the reduction of nuclear weapons throughout the world.
The United States and Russia have 90 per cent of the total nuclear weapons and it could have a big impact, he said.
Describing nuclear weapons as the greatest threat to the world today, he underscored the need to do something about it.
“I thought that the meeting that I had with President Putin was really strong. I think that they were willing to do things that frankly I wasn’t sure whether or not they would be willing to do, and we’ll be having future meetings and we’ll see whether or not that comes to fruition. But we had a very, very good meeting,” Trump added.