U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have met for the first time, shaking hands at the start of a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
They will hold a longer meeting later, and say they want to repair ties damaged by crises including Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election. Climate change and trade are set to dominate the two-day summit, with mass protests in the streets outside. Clashes at a “Welcome to Hell” rally left 76 police officers injured.
“We are all aware of the great global challenges,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her summit opening statement.
“We know that time is short and therefore solutions very often can only be found if we are ready to compromise and work together without bending over backwards too much because, of course, we can express different views on some issues.”
A brief video clip posted on the German government’s Facebook page shows the two men shaking hands, and Trump patting Putin’s arm as they smile in the company of other leaders. They are due to meet again in the afternoon for an hour, Russian media say, though other reports suggest it could be about 30 minutes, BBC reads.
According to NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander, it is likely that only four other people will be present at the meeting: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and two interpreters. It is unclear if they will speak to reporters afterwards or to what extent media will be admitted to the meeting.