Thursday, July 27, 2017 | ePaper

UN Syria envoy hails small gains in latest peace talks

  • Print


UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura, speaks to the media after a round of negotiations with Syrian government delegation, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

AP, Washington :
A prominent Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer said he was at a meeting between a Russian lawyer and President Donald Trump's son, son-in-law and campaign chairman last year, adding a new wrinkle to the Trump team's evolving explanations about the June 2016 session.
Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his involvement to The Associated Press in a Friday interview. He had not been previously identified as a participant in the meeting at Trump Tower in New York, which was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican's White House campaign.
The meeting has heightened questions about whether Trump's associates coordinated with Russia to meddle in the presidential election - to help him and thwart Hillary Clinton - and whether they've been forthcoming about their foreign contacts. Federal and congressional investigators are probing possible connections between the campaign and Moscow.
While Trump Jr. has confirmed that Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was in the meeting, he has not disclosed Akhmetshin's presence.
Akhmetshin has been reported to have ties to Russian intelligence, a characterization he dismisses as a "smear campaign." He's a well-known Washington presence, lobbying for Russian interests trying to undermine the allegations of a lawyer who died in a Russian prison and is the namesake of a U.S. sanctions law.
Akhmetshin told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but he was never formally trained as a spy.
In emails posted by Donald Trump Jr. earlier this week, a music publicist said he arranged the meeting because a Russian lawyer wanted to pass on negative information about Democrat Clinton. The go-between stated that the discussion was part of a Russian government effort to help the GOP candidate.
The president's son has publicly discounted the meeting, saying he did not receive the information he was promised.
In a statement Sunday, Trump Jr. said the attorney had said she had information that people tied to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Clinton, a description that Akhmetshin backed up in his interview with the AP.
In his first public interview about the meeting, Akhmetshin said he accompanied Veselnitskaya to Trump Tower where they met an interpreter. He said he had learned about the meeting only that day when Veselnitskaya asked him to attend. He said he showed up in jeans and a T-shirt.

More News For this Category

Rouhani says Iran will `respond` if US missile law passes

Rouhani says Iran will `respond` if US missile law passes

AP, Tehran : Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday his country will respond if a bill in the U.S. Congress imposing sanctions on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program

Taliban kill 30 Afghan soldiers as fighting intensifies

Taliban kill 30 Afghan soldiers as fighting intensifies

Reuters, Kandahar : Taliban fighters killed 30 soldiers in an attack on an army base in the southern province of Kandahar, an army spokesman said on Wednesday, as heavy fighting

N Korea's missile could soon reach US cities

N Korea's missile could soon reach US cities

AP, Washington : Intelligence officials believe North Korea will have a reliable, intercontinental missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon as early as next year, according to a report published

China, India are edging closer to a war in Asia that neither can back down

China, India are edging closer to a war in Asia that neither can back down

Business Insider UK :Buried in the Himalayas in the Siliguri Corridor, also known as the Chicken's neck, Chinese and Indian military forces sit on the respective sides of their

News In Brief

Trump pledges US aid to help Lebanon against ISReuters, Washington U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Lebanon's efforts to guard its borders to prevent Islamic State and other militant

Aleppo's limping recovery shows limits of battered Syrian state

Aleppo's limping recovery shows limits of battered Syrian state

Reuters, Aleppo : In eastern Aleppo, bodies still lie under the rubble, graveyards are full, people are short of electricity and bread, and some children take classes in mosques because

Saudi, allies unveil Qatar `terrorist` blacklist

Saudi, allies unveil Qatar `terrorist` blacklist

AFP, Riyadh :Saudi Arabia and its allies unveiled a "terrorist" blacklist on Tuesday of 18 organisations and individuals suspected of links with Islamist extremism that they said had ties

UK's FM plays down Conservative party rift

UK's FM plays down Conservative party rift

Reuters, Wellington :Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday appeared to deny there was any infighting within the governing Conservative party during a visit to New Zealand, where he

Air strikes, shelling strain Moscow-backed Damascus truce

Air strikes, shelling strain Moscow-backed Damascus truce

Reuters, Beirut :Air strikes killed at least nine people in the Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus overnight and insurgent shelling from the rebel-held area landed near the Russian embassy on

News In Brief

Mumbai building collapse kills at least fourReuters, Mumbai A four-storey building housing a nursing home in the suburbs of the Indian city of Mumbai collapsed on Tuesday, killing at