Saturday, January 20, 2018 | 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

2017 was among the planet`s hottest years on record

2017 was among the planet`s hottest years on record

The Washington Post :2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded, government scientists reported Thursday.The year was the second-hottest in recorded history, NASA said, while scientists from the National

China sees births fall despite push for second child

AFP, BeijingĀ  :The number of births in China fell last year even though the world's most populous country has relaxed its one-child policy to allow all couples to have

May, Macron strike border security deal at UK summit

May, Macron strike border security deal at UK summit

AFP, Sandhurst :Prime Minister Theresa May and her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed a new border security deal on Thursday, through which the UK will pay more to France

Threat from nukes, other weapons, gathers force: UN Chief

Threat from nukes, other weapons, gathers force: UN Chief

AP, United Nations :Russia's foreign minister warned Thursday that a failure of the Iran nuclear deal, especially as a result of action by the Trump administration, would send "an

News In Brief

Puigdemont seeks to vote by proxy for comeback bidReuters, Madrid Catalonia's fugitive separatists on Thursday sought to get around a Spanish government ban on voting via webcast in a

America is coming back bigger and better: Trump

America is coming back bigger and better: Trump

PTI, Washington :America is coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, President Donald Trump has said as he highlighted the benefits of the recently passed tax

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after `liberation`

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after `liberation`

AFP, Mosul :Barely a month after Baghdad declared victory over the Islamic State group, the jihadists could still recapture areas of Iraq, especially near the border with Syria, experts

 Nearly Rs. 100 cr in banned notes at Kanpur home

Nearly Rs. 100 cr in banned notes at Kanpur home

NDTV :Banned notes worth crores, making up a "bed" of cash when stacked up, were found on Tuesday at a house in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur. The cash had to

In coldest village on earth, eyelashes freeze, temperatures sink to -88F

In coldest village on earth, eyelashes freeze, temperatures sink to -88F

The Washington PostĀ  :In this remote outpost in Siberia, the cold is no small affair.Eyelashes freeze, frostbite is a constant danger and cars are usually kept running even when

News In Brief

Trump to speak at anti-abortion rally on FridayAFP, WashingtonUS President Donald Trump will appear via video link during this year's March for Life, a mass rally of anti-abortion activists