On the sidelines of the G20 something interesting happened and it all started with a handshake and smiles.
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met face to face at the G20 summit in Germany. This is the first formal meeting and the most widely watched meeting at this year’s summit that was dominated with talked about terrorism and North Korea.
The two presidents met earlier at the summit but it was the informal talks that were held on the sidelines of the summit and lasted several hours that produced the media circus of the summit.
During the meeting an agreement was struck on a cease fire in Southwest Syria (details of which are yet to be released) with the agreement going into place at midday on Sunday local time. This agreement comes after months of escalation between the two parties in the region including US fighter jets firing on Russian assets in Syria. US allies, Jordan and Israel, are also confirmed to be part of the cease fire agreement which is separate to the deescalation zones that were set up by Russia, Iran and Turkey.
US President Donald Trump also raised concerns regarding Russian meddling in the US elections, a claim that Russia denies however US Secretary of State Rex Tilerson has told media at the summit that the two presidents would continue discussions on the topic with a future view that Russia would not interfere with US affairs in the future. President Trump declined to answer questions on this topic to media present.
The Trump Administration came into power with a commitment to improve relations between the US and Russia however a number circumstances that have occurred since Trump coming to power have led to a deteriorated state of relations including the US taking a more assertive role in the Syrian conflict.
Fighting terrorism and cyber security was also discussed in the over two hour meeting.