President Donald Trump says he hopes to have ‘a very fantastic relationship’ with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Trump, who made the remarks during a joint news briefing with visiting UK Prime Minister Theresa May, explained that getting along well with Putin would be a “great asset”.
“We look forward to have great relationship with all countries. We believe we can have a great relationship with Russia, China and other countries.
“That will be a great asset. I don’t know the gentleman (Putin). I hope we have a fantastic relationship. I don’t know if we won’t.
“I will be going to represent the American people. If it works out fine, that will be great against fighting ISIS but I will be representing the American people,” Mr. Trump said.
According to him, however, it is too early to be talking about lifting sanctions on Russia.
With ongoing strain relations with Mexico over his insistence on the Mexicans paying for the border wall between the two countries, Mr. Trump said he had an hour phone call with Mexico’s president Enrique Nieto.
“We have a very great call” he said. “I think it was a very friendly conversation” adding, “I and the Mexico’s president spoke for about an hour.”
The president also said that the two countries are going to renegotiate their trade deals and other aspects of their relations.
According to him, he thinks he and Ms. May can get on well, saying he is not as brash as people think.
Ms. May, in her remarks, described her talks with Mr. Trump as a significant moment, saying the U.S.-UK defence relationship is the deepest of any two countries.
According to her, she and Mr. Trump discussed how to take forward immediate high-level talks on trade, adding a trade deal between the two countries is in the national interests of both.
The prime minister said they discussed how to defeat Da’esh (another name for ISIS) and all other extremist organisations by deepening intelligence between the two countries.
Contrary to Mr. Trump’s remarks that NATO had outlived its purpose, Ms. May said she and Mr. Trump pledged “firm and unwavering” commitments to the regional security organisation, but with reforms to fight terrorism and cyber crimes.
Ms. May, however, said the UK wanted sanctions against Russia and Putin to continue until the Minsk agreement is implemented.
She said she conveyed the Queen of England’s hope that Mr. Trump would come to the UK for a state visit in July and that Mr. Trump has accepted.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ms. May became the first foreign leader to visit Mr. Trump since his inauguration on January 20.