Trump: summit with Putin off to a very, very good start/ترامب وبوتين يتفقان على علاقات استثنائية لمواجهة أزمات العالم/قمة هلسنكي: إجماع بشأن سورية وافتراق على إيران… ونقاش في الصواريخ والتجارة والمونديال

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ترامب وبوتين يتفقان على علاقات استثنائية لمواجهة أزمات العالم/قمة هلسنكي: إجماع بشأن سورية وافتراق على إيران… ونقاش في الصواريخ والتجارة والمونديال
هلسنكي – وكالات/السياسة/16 تموز/18

أعرب الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب عن أمله في إقامة علاقات استثنائية مع موسكو، فيما رأى الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين أنه “آن الأوان لتكون ثمة محادثات جوهرية بين البلدين”. واستهل ترامب القمة التاريخية التي جمعته مع بوتين بالعاصمة الفنلندية هلسنكي، أمس، بتهنئة نظيره الروسي على بطولة كأس العالم، واعتبرها بطولة رائعة، مشيدا بنجاحها، ومعبرا عن الاعتقاد بأن “العالم يريد أن يرى واشنطن وموسكو في حالة من التفاهم”. وقال “لدينا مسائل كثيرة علينا أن نناقشها ومسائل أخرى علينا التفكير فيها”، موضحا أن روسيا والولايات المتحدة “أكبر قوتين نوويتين وليس من الجيد أن تكون بيننا خلافات”. وتابع “سنبحث التجارة والمسائل العسكرية المتعلقة بالصواريخ وبالنووي، وكذلك سنتحدث قليلا عن الصين الصديق المشترك”، مضيفا أنه “لدى بلدينا إمكانية كبيرة لتحسين العلاقات الثنائية”. ومع انضمام مسؤولين كبار الى الرئيسين لاجراء محادثات إضافية، عقب اجتماعهما لمدة ساعتين خلف أبواب مغلقة في لقاء لم يحضره معهما سوى مترجميهما، وصف ترامب قمته مع بوتين، بأنها بداية طيبة، مضيفا ردا على اسئلة الصحافيين، إن اللقاء “بداية جيدة جدا”.
من جانبه، اعتبر بوتين أنه آن الآوان لحديث مفصل عن العلاقات الثنائية والقضايا الدولية ومناقشة “النقاط المؤلمة”. وقال إن “الاتصالات الدائمة مستمرة لدينا. ونحن تحدثنا بالهاتف والتقينا مرات عدة على ساحات الفعاليات الدولية المختلفة. ولكن بالطبع آن الأوان للحديث بالتفصيل حول علاقاتنا الثنائية ومختلف النقاط المؤلمة في العالم. إنها كثيرة بما يكفي لنوليها الاهتمام”. وبدأ الرئيسان المحادثات وجها لوجه في القصر الرئاسي في هلسنكي، بعد التقاط صور تذكارية في مستهل اللقاء. وخصص الطرفان ساعة ونصف الساعة للحديث وجها لوجه، على أن تجري محادثات موسعة بعد ذلك، وانتهت المحادثات المفتوحة بالمصافحة. وافتتح ترامب القمة وهو يجلس إلى جانب بوتين بأحد القصور الرئاسية الفنلندية بكلمات ودية، وقال ان هدفه طويل الاجل هو تحسين العلاقات. وأضاف “أعتقد أننا سنقيم علاقة استثنائية. أتمني ذلك. كنت دائما أقول وأنا متأكد من أنكم سمعتم على مدى الاعوام الماضية وأثناء حملتي الانتخابية، ان اقامة علاقات ودية مع روسيا أمر محمود وليس مكروها”.
وخلال تصريحاته العلنية في بداية القمة، لم يذكر ترامب أيا من المسائل التي تسببت في وصول العلاقات الاميركية- الروسية الى أسوأ حالاتها منذ الحرب الباردة، مثل ضم موسكو لشبه جزيرة القرم، ودعمها للرئيس السوري بشار الاسد، واتهامات الغرب بضلوع روسيا في تسميم جاسوس روسي في انجلترا، والتدخل في الانتخابات. وقال ترامب في مؤتمر صحافي مشترك عقب القمة، أنه أجرى محادثات مثمرة مع بوتين أسفرت عن تجاوز مرحلة حرجة في العلاقات بين البلدين، مضيفا أنه “اذا أردنا أن نحل الكثير من المشكلات التي تواجه عالمنا فسوف يتعين علينا ايجاد سبل للتعاون”.
وقال انه بحث مجموعة كبيرة من القضايا الحساسة للبلدين، ومنها الحرب في سورية وقضية ايران والارهاب العالمي والحد من الاسلحة النووية، معربا عن أمله في تحسين التعاون بين بلاده وروسيا في سورية، مضيفا إن الجانبين لديهما القدرة على إنقاذ حياة الاف الناس في الحرب الأهلية الدائرة هناك، ومعتبرا أنه لا ينبغي السماح لإيران بأن تستفيد من الحملة الناجحة على تنظيم “داعش”.ووصف التحقيق بشأن تدخل روسي مزعوم في الانتخابات الأميركية بأنه “مثير للسخرية وكارثة”. من جانبه، أكد بوتين أنه بوصف البلدين قوتين نوويتين عظميتين، فإنهما يوليان عناية خاصة للحفاظ على الأمن العالمي، وحظر انتشار الأسلحة النووية. وفيما اتفق الرئيسان بشأن سورية، اختلفا حول إيران، حيث أعرب بوتين عن قلقه حيال انسحاب أميركا من الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، مشيرا إلى أنه بفضل هذا الاتفاق أصبحت إيران أكثر الدول التي يمكن تقويضها على مستوى العالم، حيث خضعت تحت سيطرة الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، مما أثبت الطبيعة السلمية للبرنامج النووي الإيراني، وأن نظامها يشدد على اتباع نظرية عدم انتشار الاسلحة النووية. وأكد بوتين عدم تدخل بلاده في الانتخابات الأميركية الماضية، معلنا أنه كان يريد بالفعل فوز دونالد ترامب بالانتخابات الرئاسية، “لانه كان يتكلم عن تطبيع للعلاقات الروسية الاميركية”.

Trump: summit with Putin off to a ‘very, very good start’
Associated Press/July 16/18
HELSINKI: President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin opened their long-awaited summit Monday with a wink and slouch, respectively, then talked one on one behind closed doors for two-plus hours before the American leader declared their meeting was off to a “very, very good start for everybody.”
Neither leader revealed what was discussed. But in advance of the talks, Trump listed a series of topics that did not include Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“We have not been getting along well for the last number of years,” Trump said after arriving at the Presidential Palace in Finland’s capital, where the leaders are meeting. “But I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. … I really think the world wants to see us get along.”
Putin, for his part, said he and Trump have maintained regular contact through phone calls and meetings at international events but “the time has come to have a thorough discussion on various international problems and sensitive issues.” He added: “There are quite a few of them for us to pay attention to.”
Their opening one-on-one session had been scheduled to run 90 minutes. The Russians said it lasted two hours and 10 minutes. The White House wouldn’t immediately confirm the timing.
The summit, which is being closely watched around the world, was not the first time Trump and Putin have held talks. They met on the sidelines of world leader meetings in Germany and Vietnam last year. But Monday’s session was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the U.S. indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump’s presidential campaign.
Trump said last week that he would raise the meddling issue again with Putin, but questions have been swirling about whether Trump will sharply and publicly rebuke his Russian counterpart for the interference that prompted a special investigation probe that Trump has repeatedly labeled a “witch hunt.”
Addressing reporters before the one-on-one meeting, Putin struck a casual pose during Trump’s remarks, slouching in his chair with his legs wide and eyes low. He nodded along to some of Trump’s remarks before they were translated, showcasing his fluency in English. Trump leaned forward in his chair, his hands tented in front of him and frequently glanced over at the Russian president. At one point, he shot Putin a wink. After Trump concluded his remarks, American reporters shouted several questions about whether he would bring up election meddling during his discussions with Putin.
Trump did not respond; Putin appeared to smirk.
With that, the leaders gave a quick handshake and their private meeting in the opulent Gothic Hall was under way. Just the two of them, each with a translator. They continued the discussion with an expanded group of aides and over lunch in the Hall of Mirrors, once the emperor’s throne room. They’ll conclude the summit by taking questions at a joint news conference. Out on the streets, the summit attracted a grab-bag of protesters, with abortion-rights activists wearing artificially bulging bellies and Trump masks, anti-fascist protesters bearing signs with expletive-laden insults, and free traders, anti-war Ukrainians and gay rights supporters making their voices heard. The summit began just hours after Trump blamed the United States — and not Russian election meddling or its annexation of Crimea — for a low-point in U.S.-Russia relations. The drama was playing out against a backdrop of fraying Western alliances, a new peak in the Russia investigation and fears that Moscow’s aggression may go unchallenged.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse,” Trump tweeted Monday morning, blaming “many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” The Russian foreign ministry responded by liking Trump’s tweet and then replying: “We agree.”
The summit started late because Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half hour behind schedule in another display of the Russian’s leader famous lack of punctuality. Trump seemed to return the favor by waiting until Putin had arrived at the palace before leaving his hotel. Putin has been late for past meetings with the pope and British queen, among many others.
Several dozen Trump supporters, many waving American flags and sporting “Make America Great Again” caps, cheered Trump near his waterfront hotel in Helsinki. Two held up a handwritten banner that read “God Bless D & M Trump.”
Trump and his aides have repeatedly tried to lower expectations about what the summit will achieve. He told CBS News that he didn’t “expect anything” from Putin, while his national security adviser said the U.S. wasn’t looking for any “concrete deliverables.” Trump told reporters during a breakfast Monday with Finland’s president that he thought the summit would go “fine.”
Observers have raised concerns about the fact that the leaders met alone during their first meeting, but for a pair of interpreters, meaning there will be no corroborating witnesses to accurately represent what was said during the conversation. Trump said he and Putin would discuss a range of issues, from trade to the military, along with missiles and China. Not mentioned: Election meddling or Syria. The Russian Foreign Ministry rejected last week’s indictment as part of a “shameful comedy” they claim has been staged to prevent the normalization of Russia-U.S. ties.
In tweets Monday, Trump continued to undermine the investigation and blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for failing to stop Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. He claimed Obama “was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it.”
The Obama administration did, in fact, take action, including confronting Putin in person as well as expelling nearly three dozen Russian diplomats the U.S. said were actually intelligence operatives and imposing new sanctions.
While Trump was eager for a made-for-TV moment that will dominate headlines like his sit-down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month, Putin hopes the meeting, mere hours after he presided over the World Cup finals, will help him forge good personal ties with Trump and focus on areas where Moscow and Washington may be able to find common ground, such as Syria.
Putin will likely not be shooting for official recognition of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea or the easing of crippling U.S. sanctions, aware that the U.S. Congress would never allow such action. But he would welcome a symbolic end to Western protests over Crimea and Moscow’s attempts to destabilize elections and traditional Western alliances and norms. On Syria, a possible deal could see Moscow helping mediate the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their Hezbollah proxies from the areas alongside Syria’s border with Israel — a diplomatic coup that would reflect Russia’s carefully cultivated ties with both Israel and Iran.

Putin and Trump discuss Syria, election meddling and ‘shared interests’ at Helsinki summit
Arab News/July 16/18
HELSINKI: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that he and US President Donald Trump have agreed to continue detailed discussions on arms control issues. Putin said Russia and the US should discuss a possible extension of the 2010 New START nuclear arms reduction treaty and the implementation of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. Putin added that other issues that Russia would like to discuss in the arms control sphere are the US missile defense plans and the weaponization of space. He spoke at their joint news conference wrapping up the Helsinki summit. Trump said the US and Russia must find ways to “cooperate in pursuit of shared interests.”Trump said a productive dialogue between the US and Russia is good for both countries and “is good for the world.” Speaking after the summit with Putin, Trump says they discussed disagreements between their countries “at length.”Trump adds that relations between the US and Russia have never been worse. He adds that he thinks that “changed as of about four hours ago.” He says he’s sure that he and Putin will meet again often in the future. Putin says the “so-called Russian interference” in the US 2016 presidential election was brought up by Trump during their summit. Putin said: “I had to repeat that the Russian state never interfered, and does not plan to interfere in internal American electoral process.”In general, he said, the talks with Trump took place in an “open and businesslike atmosphere” and he characterized them as “successful and useful.”Trump and Putin arrived on Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit, hours after Trump blamed the United States, and not Russian election meddling or its annexation of Crimea, for a low-point in US-Russia relations. The drama was playing out against a backdrop of fraying Western alliances, a new peak in the Russia investigation and fears that Moscow’s aggression may go unchallenged. “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning, blaming “many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!“ The summit, which was being closely watched by rattled world capitals, was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump’s presidential campaign. Undeterred, the American president was set to go face to face with Putin, the authoritarian leader for whom he has expressed admiration. Trump was greeted at the palace by Finland’s president. The summit was starting later than scheduled because Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half hour late in another display of the Russian’s leader famous lack of punctuality. Trump seemed to return the favor by waiting until Putin had arrived at the palace before leaving his hotel. Putin has been late for past meetings with the pope and British Queen, among many others.

Putin: Trump ‘paid particular attention’ to Israel’s security at summit
Jerusalem Post/July 16/18
The leaders of the two countries said Russia and the United States are working together to ensure Israel’s security. Russia and the United States are working together to ensure Israel’s security with regards to the advancement of the Syrian regime against rebels near the Golan Heights, US President Donald Trump said to reporters after a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Trump “paid particular attention” to Israel’s security during the summit, the Russian leader said at a joint press conference after the summit Monday. Russian cooperation with Israel is a “great thing” Trump said. “As far as Syria is concerned the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of successful joint work,” the US leader said. Putin also said Washington knows the Kremlin’s position on the Iran nuclear deal, from which Trump withdrew last year. “We can do something to help people of Syria head in some form of shelter… both of us would be very interested in doing that,” Trump said. “We also discussed at length the crisis in Syria. Cooperation between our countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.” Putin said he agrees with Trump that the two countries’s armies are working successfully in Syria. “As far as Syria is concerned the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of successful joint work,” Putin said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “welcomed the deep commitment” of the US, his office said in a statement released after the summit. Netanyahu “greatly appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russia and expressed the clear position President Putin on the need to maintain the separation agreements between Israel and Syria in 1974,” the statement also read.Reuters contributed to this report.