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US President Donald Trump and Saudi King Agree to Back Safe Zones in Syria and Yemen

Trump spent the last two days reaching out by telephone to a number of world leaders

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he White House says President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud have agreed to back safe zones in Syria and Yemen.

The two spoke by telephone Sunday, reaffirming the longstanding relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

A White House statement said Trump asked for the king’s support for safe zones, and that the king agreed.

They also said they will support what the White House called “other ideas” to help refugees driven from their homes because of war, and the “importance of rigorously enforcing” the nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump has fiercely criticised as a bad deal.

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Trump spent the last two days reaching out by telephone to a number of world leaders. He also was to talk Sunday with the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, and acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-Ahn.

He spoke Saturday to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In a much anticipated call, Trump also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, agreeing to cooperate in defeating Islamic State and work for peace in Syria and throughout the world.

The White House said the hour-long call was “positive,” and that it was “a significant start to improving the relationship” between Washington and Moscow, which has been badly strained in recent months, primarily over allegations that Russia interfered in the November presidential election.

Neither side mentioned U.S.-imposed sanctions on Russia, or the possibility they could be eased.

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A Kremlin statement said Putin and Trump “thoroughly discussed” international issues, “including the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the sphere of strategic stability and nonproliferation, the situation around the Iranian nuclear program and the Korean Peninsula.”

The talks also “touched upon … the main aspects of the crisis in Ukraine,” Moscow’s statement said, adding: “It was agreed to establish a partnership on all these and other areas.”(VOA)

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White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

No direct talks yet between Trump, Kim: White House

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
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The White House has denied any direct talks yet between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, though Washington has spoken to Pyongyang “at the highest levels”.

The White House statement on Tuesday came minutes after Trump seemingly hinted that he has already spoken with Kim, Xinhua news agency reported.

When asked by reporters if he had spoken directly with Kim, Trump had said “yes”.

In the statement, issued after the confusing incident, the White House said, “In regards to talks with leader Kim Jong-un, the President said the administration has had talks at the highest levels” and added that they were not with him directly.

On Tuesday afternoon, Trump himself also said that Washington and Pyongyang have already started direct talks at “very high levels,” without specifying how “high” the level was.

Kim Jong-un And Donald Trump
Kim Jong-un And Donald Trump

“We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels with North Korea,” Trump said. He might have hinted at CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s reportedly top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as his envoy.

The trip made by Pompeo was an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between the leaders of the two countries. No official confirmation of Pompeo’s visit has come yet.

Trump was expected to meet Kim in May or early June. The venue of the meeting was still to be decided. Trump said that five sites were being weighed and none of them were located in the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has thawed over the last few months. The South and North have agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit on April 27, the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides in 11 years.

“They do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war,” said Trump on Tuesday, referring to the summit.

The 1950-1953 Korean war ended in an armistice. The Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war.  IANS