HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Syria would save many lives after the two met at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
“We agreed very quickly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from the APEC meeting in the resort city of Danang to Vietnam’s capital Hanoi. “It’s going to save tremendous numbers of lives.”
The Kremlin earlier said Trump and Putin had agreed on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that a political solution was needed on Syria and that they would continue efforts to fight Islamic State.
“We spoke intermittently during that roundtable. We seem to have a very good feeling for each other and a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well,” Trump said, adding that he and Putin had two or three very short conversations.
Trump said Putin had reiterated that he did not meddle in last year’s U.S. presidential elections, which brought Trump to the White House.
Trump said a good relationship with Russia was important.
“In fact it would be a great thing ... because he could really help us in North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea and China is helping us,” Trump said. “If Russia helped us in addition to China that problem would go away a lot faster.”
Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping was a good man who “wants to do right,” but he wanted Xi to ratchet up more pressure on North Korea.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Alexander Smith