President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters on Thursday after a tense NATO summit in Brussels, said that Syria and Ukraine would be discussed at his coming summit with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16. From Brussels he flies to the UK for a visit.
Turning to Iran, he said its economy is in meltdown and he is certain that its rulers will eventually come to the table and ask the US for a new deal. Trump did not say he would recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea; neither did he deny this. The annexation process took place during the Obama presidency and things happening now can’t be changed, he said. Defining his view of President Putin, Trump said: “He is not an enemy, nor is he a friend. I would call him a competitor. He acts for Russia and I for the US and we’ll see what happens.”
Trump then gave the floor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who reported that North Korean officials whom he met in Pyongyang had reiterated their commitment to dismantle their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.