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Trump eyes autumn summit with Putin in Washington

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Washington, July 20 (IANS): US President Donald Trump is hoping to hold a second summit with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin before the end of this year and would like those talks to take place in Washington, the White House said Thursday.

“President Trump asked @Ambjohnbolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on her official Twitter account.

This invitation opens the possibility that Putin will visit Washington just before or soon after the Nov. 6 mid-term congressional elections, even though US intelligence agencies have claimed that Russia is attempting to meddle in those elections, as it allegedly did in 2016, Efe reported.

It is not clear, however, that Putin will accept the invitation, as Trump had sought to organise their first summit in Washington, but eventually had to agree to meet the Russian president in Helsinki.

Trump announced his intention of organising a second summit with Putin due the “the great success” of their talks in Finland.

“I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more,” the President wrote on Twitter.

“There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems… but they can ALL be solved!,” Trump wrote.

After his meeting with Putin on Monday, Trump appeared to discount US intelligence reports about Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, spurring widespread criticism by opponents and even some Republicans.

Trump backtracked on Tuesday, however, claiming he misspoke and saying that he did believe Russia had interfered in the election.

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