Tags: Donald Trump | Russia | Bolton | Trump | Putin

Bolton: Important for Trump, Putin 'Just to Have a Conversation'

Image: Bolton: Important for Trump, Putin 'Just to Have a Conversation'
(Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 01:02 PM

Amid rampant speculation about what Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will talk about when they meet for the first time this week, former Ambassador John Bolton said he'd be happy if they just use the meeting to "take each others' measure."

"I think the most important from the U.S. perspective is for Trump and Putin just to have a conversation where they exchange views across the whole ranges of differences that we have with Russia," Bolton told Fox News on Tuesday.

The G-20 normally does not allow any time for substantive meetings between the leaders of the world's superpowers, Bolton said, but it does allow for bilateral meetings.

"The president will have such meetings with other leaders, this being the first one with Putin," said Bolton. "I really think it's best to concentrate on the personalities and establish a working relationship, and later see if a longer meeting of just the two of them in Washington or in Moscow makes more sense."

He does agree that Trump, at some point, should lay down some red lines for Putin as the defeat of ISIS comes near. Russia, said Bolton, has "put down some positions that are going to be difficult to reverse, but which we need to roll back."

Russia's influence in the Middle East grew under former President Barack Obama to levels that had not been seen since the 1970s, and that is not in the United States' best interest, said Bolton.

"We have the Iran question to worry about," he said. "We obviously have the Israel, Palestinian question to worry about. So there is a lot there."

Bolton said he does believe Putin will find Trump a very different president than Obama, and he thinks Putin and Trump should lay out what they think and to try to get a measure of each other, not reach agreements.

The former ambassador was in Paris on Tuesday, and said he is there to discuss the ongoing issues with North Korea's growing aggression, and because of concern between North Korea and ayatollahs, in the Middle East.

"I think this is very encouraging for president trump to take a hard line both on North Korea and on Iran's nuclear weapons program," said Bolton. "It's something that he feels very strongly about, I think."

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Amid rampant speculation about what Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will talk about when they meet for the first time this week, former Ambassador John Bolton said he'd be happy if they just use the meeting to "take each others' measure."...
Bolton, Trump, Putin
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2017-02-04
Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 01:02 PM
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