The Latest: Tillerson Thanks Russian Envoy for Coming to DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Washington visit of Russian’s top diplomat for meeting with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (all times local):

9 a.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has thanked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR’-gay LAHV’-rahf) for coming to Washington for talks with U.S. officials.

Tillerson and Lavrov are meeting at the State Department, and then Lavrov heads to the White House to see President Donald Trump.

Tillerson says his meeting with Lavrov is a chance for the two diplomats to “continue our dialogue” and “exchange of views” that they started last month in Moscow. During that trip, Tillerson said relations with Russia was at a low and needed to be rebuilt.

Expected to be on Wednesday’s agenda are Syria, Ukraine and other issues.


3:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump has scheduled a White House meeting for late Wednesday morning with Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat.

His meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR’-gay LAHV’-rahf) will be the highest level contact with Russia of his presidency.

It also will be a sign that the two countries have improved ties. Trump recently described relations as being at an “all-time low.”

A Russian plan to stabilize Syria after more than six years of civil war is the most urgent foreign policy topic on the agenda.

But the meeting will be impossible to separate from the Trump administration’s unfolding political drama amid investigations into possible election-year collusion between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin.

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