Washington: US President Donald Trump has said he will have lunch with Russian President Vladimir Putin among other leaders during his planned trip to Paris but no meeting was expected.
Trump also revealed that he is likely to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “early next year”.
“We will be having a lunch, but I’m sure many people will be there,” said Trump on Wednesday at a press conference at the White House when asked if he will meet Putin in Paris, where over 60 leaders were expected to convene on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the World War I, Xinhua reported.
“I don’t think we have anything scheduled in Paris,” said Trump, explaining that he didn’t think there would be time set for any meeting given his short stay there.
“We will very shortly meet again at the G20. And that’s where we were actually looking forward to meet,” Trump added.
The Kremlin announced earlier on Wednesday that Putin and Trump will meet at a short working lunch in the Elysee Palace, with longer and more comprehensive talks expected at a summit of the Group of 20 countries at the end of this month in Argentina.
Trump said that he expected to meet Kim Jong-un again “some time early next year,” but insisted that the US is “in no rush” after talks between his top diplomat and a senior North Korean envoy were postponed.
“We think it’s going fine. We are in no rush,” said Trump, commenting on current bilateral negotiations.
Trump’s remarks came less than a day after the US State Department announced that a scheduled high-level meeting between the two sides has been postponed.
The expected Thursday meeting in New York between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, “will now take place at a later date,” Heather Nauert, the department spokesperson, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pompeo himself revealed in a Sunday interview that he expected some “real progress” in talks with Kim, including “an effort to make sure that the summit between the two leaders can take place.”