Readout of the First Trump-Putin White House Phone Call

The Kremlin.ru summary of the call:

Vladimir Putin congratulated Donald Trump on taking office and wished him every success in his work.

During the conversation, both sides expressed their readiness to make active joint efforts to stabilise and develop Russia-US cooperation on a constructive, equitable and mutually beneficial basis.

Mr Putin and Mr Trump had a detailed discussion of pressing international issues, including the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, strategic stability and non-proliferation, the situation with Iran’s nuclear programme, and the Korean Peninsula issue. The discussion also touched upon the main aspects of the Ukrainian crisis. The sides agreed to build up partner cooperation in these and other areas.

The two leaders emphasised that joining efforts in fighting the main threat – international terrorism – is a top priority. The presidents spoke out for establishing real coordination of actions between Russia and the USA aimed at defeating ISIS and other terrorists groups in Syria.

The sides stressed the importance of rebuilding mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between the two counties’ business communities, which could give an additional impetus to progressive and sustainable development of bilateral relations.

Mr Putin and Mr Trump agreed to issue instructions to work out the possible date and venue for their meeting.

Donald Trump asked to convey his wishes of happiness and prosperity to the Russian people, saying that the American people have warm feelings towards Russia and its citizens.

Vladimir Putin, in turn, emphasised that the feeling is mutual, adding that for over two centuries Russia has supported the United States, was its ally during the two world wars, and now sees the United States as a major partner in fighting international terrorism.

The two leaders agreed to maintain regular personal contacts.

The conversation took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere.

Perhaps the Russian President was enthusiastic about the call in part due to the new Trump Administration’s refusal to keep on many of the State Department officials who participated in if not co-organized the February 2014 Maidan coup d’etat in Kiev. RT and RIA Novosti have the hopeful response of some State Duma deputies:

Hopes of a looming thaw in Russia-US relations seemed to be a prevailing mood among Russian officials following the phone conversation between presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, with many seeing it as a significant shift from the Obama administration’s rhetoric and intransigence.

What appears to be Trump’s readiness to treat Russia as an equal partner and also meet face to face with the Russian President sets the stage for a breakthrough in bilateral relations, believes Vyacheslav Nikonov, MP of the ruling United Russia party.

“It would be hard to imagine a better start. The mere range of issues and that constructive and positive tone…signals a possibility for thaw in the US-Russian relations and even for major changes,” Nikonov said, as cited by the RIA Novosti.

— https://www.rt.com/news/375431-putin-trump-call-expectations/

A handful of senior US diplomats resigned their posts just as the Senate is expected to confirm Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, former CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson.
Among the resignations were Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, who planned to retire on Friday. Kennedy had served under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He was joined by two assistant secretaries, Joyce Barr and Michele Bond, who both resigned on Wednesday. Gentry Smith, who directs the Office of Foreign Missions, was also departing.

“Kennedy will retire from foreign service at the end of the month,” officials told The Washington Post. “The other officials could be given assignments elsewhere in the foreign service.”

Acting spokesperson for the State Department Mark Toner said in a statement such resignations are standard in every transition.

The four join a growing list of long-serving diplomats declining to stay on into the Trump administration. That list includes Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Gregory Starr, the assistant secretary for diplomatic security. Starr retired on Inauguration Day. Lydia Muniz, director of the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, departed the same day.

— https://www.rt.com/usa/375211-near-complete-housecleaning-senior-diplomats/

2 comments

  1. Max and Stacy around 10:30..talk about how Buffet from controlling an airline can make or break a city and several other examples…very interesting

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