Pompeo meets Lavrov amid hope for improved US-Russia ties

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks with Britain's ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow after a meeting with European foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels. — AP

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of EU diplomats for Iran talks

Russian Federation and the United States voiced hope Tuesday for better ties including working together in Syria as President Vladimir Putin welcomed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but tensions were laid bare in a clash over election meddling.

Pompeo and Lavrov, who appeared at ease with other, were to brief President Vladimir Putin on the meeting in the evening.

Pompeo's comments came during his first official visit to Russian Federation, a key backer of Tehran which has blamed the current crisis on Washington's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

"I've formed the impression that your president wants to fix Russia-U.S. ties and contacts and wants to solve issues which are of common interest for us", Putin told Pompeo. "I hope that the necessary conditions for that to happen will now be created".

Lavrov and Pompeo are likely to talk about arms control after the US pulled out of the INF, a key post-Cold War security treaty, and indicated its interests in a new agreement that also includes China. "Interference in the American election is unacceptable", said Pompeo.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran", Pompeo said during a visit to Russian Federation, a key backer of Tehran which has blamed the current crisis on Washington's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. We wouldn't tolerate that.

"President Trump's made it clear that his expectation is that we have an improved relationship between our countries".

After meeting with Putin, Pompeo told reporters: "So it's not about moving on".

"The United States stands ready to find common ground with Russian Federation as long as the two of us can engage seriously", Pompeo said. This will benefit each of our peoples. "And I think that our talks here today were a good step in this direction", Pompeo said.

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A Kremlin aide said the talks had not yielded any breakthrough but had been held in a business-like atmosphere.

Help us grow and continue telling Israel's story to the world. They would also like Iran to stay in the Iran nuclear deal so that they never acquire a nuclear weapon.

"We have many differences here but the fact we will continue to discuss the situation that gives us hope that certain agreements could be reached with the support of the U.S. and Russia", Lavrov said, according to CBS News. Instead, he said, Iran has "chosen the path of resistance", adding that US officials know it's not in their interest to engage in a hot military conflict.

"We have places where we just have very different views", he said of the U.S. -Russia relationship. "It's about trying to find solutions, compromises, places where there are overlapping interests. You can make progress in unlocking some of the most hard problems that are facing us".

Although Pompeo and Lavrov discussed a wide range of bilateral and global problems, including the situations in Iran, North Korea, Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, there were no major breakthroughs on any of those issues.

Speaking at a press conference in the southern resort city of Sochi, Ushakov said Moscow is aware of USA attempts to persuade Turkey to suspend the deal.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran", he said.

The talks also touched on arms control and the conflict in Syria, in which Russian Federation and the USA back opposing sides. Both men deny wrongdoing.

Last week, Washington announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier battle group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to counter what USA officials called "clear indications" of Iranian threats to the interests of the United States or its allies in the region.

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