In the midst of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the first time since Trump’s election in a highly anticipated bilateral meeting.
The meeting, which was scheduled to last for 35 minutes, went over 2 hours after Trump and Putin had what they called a “very clear positive chemistry,” according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
During the meeting, in which Foreign Minister Lavrov and Tillerson were present, the two discussed the Syrian Civil War, now in its sixth year, as well as the interfering in the 2016 election by Russia.
The latter has been a hot-button topic in Washington D.C. since Trump’s win, prompting many from both the Democratic and Republican Parties to call on Trump to take a stronger position against the alleged Russian actions. Trump said he brought up the issue several times during the meeting.
Putin denied the charges, asking Trump to provide evidence that it was indeed Russia that interfered.
During the meeting, the two, along with Jordan, agreed on a ceasefire deal for Southwestern Syria. The deal would establish another de-escalation zone, but others like it have failed to stay in place for long.
Estimates put the death toll in the conflict at around 500,000. Russia backs the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which fights against both ISIL and the U.S. and coalition backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
(Image: ABC News)