Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said he and US President Donald Trump agreed on securing Israel’s border with Syria, in accordance with the 1974 ceasefire deal following the Yom Kippur War.
Putin, speaking at a joint press conference with the US leader following a private meeting, added that the one-on-one with Trump was “very successful.”
The Russian leader said that during the meeting, Trump placed a special emphasis on maintaining Israel’s security, the Ynet news site reported.
According to Reuters, Trump noted that both leaders had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel…Russia and the United States will work jointly [for this purpose].”
He added that “creating safety for Israel is something both Putin and I would like to see very much.”
Netanyahu in a statement thanked the two leaders for their commitment to Israeli security, and particularly praised Trump, saying “The friendship between Israel and the US has never been stronger.”
Trump and Putin touched on issues that included tensions on the Korean peninsula and the situation in Syria during their summit, Putin said.
“I consider [the talks] very successful and useful,” Putin said, praising the “frank and business-like atmosphere” of the summit.
He said Trump had raised accusations of Russian interference in US elections.
“I had to repeat what I have already said many times before — the Russian state has never interfered and is not planning to interfere in the USA’s internal affairs,” Putin said.
“It is obvious to everyone that bilateral ties are going through a difficult period. However there are no objective reasons for these difficulties, the current tense atmosphere,” he said.
Putin suggested special prosecutor Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into interference in the November 2016 vote, send Moscow a request to interview the Russians he suspects of meddling.
US intelligence agencies believe Putin ordered hackers and propagandists to intervene in the 2016 election to help Trump win, but the US leader appeared to side with the Russian.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer,” Trump said.
Trump also declared that the investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in his election had been a “disaster” for the United States.
“We ran a brilliant campaign and that’s why I’m president,” Trump said.
In response to a question about whether he had wanted Trump to win the election, Putin said he did, because the businessman had pledged to improve ties between Washington and Moscow.
Putin praised cooperation between Russian and US security services, adding that he favoured continued cooperation in “the fight against terror and ensuring cyber security.”
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said separately that the talks were “better than super,” in comments reported by Russian news agencies.