Da Nang (Vietnam), (IANS) US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will not hold a formal meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Friday.
Citing “scheduling conflicts on both sides”, Sanders aboard the Air Force One, told reporters that no formal meeting will take place, but that an informal interaction between the two leaders was likely to happen, reports CNN.
“Regarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides,” Sanders said.
“Now, they’re going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible, and likely. But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there’s not one on the calendar and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.”
Sanders’ statement contradicts what the Russian side had confirmed to the media on Thursday, CNN reported.
Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told state-run news agency Tass that Putin and Trump would meet on Friday, adding that the two sides had already agreed to the time and place.
While briefing reporters in China, though, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to say whether Putin and Trump would meet in Vietnam, telling reporters that officials were working to determine whether the two world leaders have sufficient areas of substance to discuss.