Islam News – U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken to the media after meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
Both leaders have described their four-hour meeting as good. Biden says the tone was “good” and “positive”, while Putin called the encounter “constructive”. Their first ever meeting follows a particularly difficult period which have seen relations strained over several issues.
Earlier, the two leaders agreed to return previously expelled ambassadors to their posts.
In contrast to the Russian president who gave his news conference indoors, Joe Biden gave his media appearance outside with Lake Geneva as a backdrop.
The U.S. president justified the meeting by saying there was no substitute for face-to-face talks. He said he told his Russian counterpart that the two sides needed to establish some “basic rules of the road” to abide by, in rebuilding relations.
He began his news conference with a staunch defence of democratic values, saying the U.S. would continue to raise issues of fundamental human rights, and the plight of individuals such as Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.
During his stint in front of the media, Putin said that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny “wanted to be arrested” and returned to Russia in the full knowledge that he had repeatedly broken Russian law.
Democratic legitimacy, Biden said, came from the people not from the government. The U.S. would continue to stress the importance of a free press and free speech.
The new occupant of the White House described one aim of the meeting as being to agree mutual areas for cooperation, for the people of both countries and global security. There was a need to build a mechanism for achieving strategic stability.
Efforts were underway on arms control measures, to prevent an unintended conflict and build a dialogue. This, Biden said, was all the more important given the emergence of new, dangerous and sophisticated weapons.
On cyberattacks, the U.S. president said he had drawn up a list of 16 entities such as energy and water systems which should be free from attack. Both sides agreed to task experts to work on specific understandings, he added — but theory must be backed up by practice.
Other areas the leaders discussed, Biden said, included Syria, the possibility of a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan, Belarus, and the Americans’ “unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
When the leaders disagreed, he went on, it was expressed with no “hyperbolic” atmosphere. But he said the U.S. had shown the world it was “back standing with our allies”, and ready to take on the world’s biggest challenges.
Source : Euronews