SCO summit focused on counter-terrorism: Putin


However, the Kremlin acknowledged Saturday that President Vladimir Putin discussed during a visit to Austria earlier this week the possibility of Vienna playing host to a summit with his USA counterpart Donald Trump.

Putin said the United State's withdrawal could "destabilize the region" in the middle east according to the Associated Press and added Russian Federation will continue to honor the deal.

The group demonstrated solidarity in pledging to uphold the Iran nuclear deal, a major source of G-7 contention after Trump's withdrawal last month.

Both leaders also issued a joint declaration pledging to preserve the global accord on Iran's nuclear programme which the United States withdrew from last month.

Italy's new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also backed Trump's call.

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The Italian prime minister was due to meet the leaders of France, Germany and the UK before the main summit in a session seen as a European "huddle" created to present a united front to President Trump, who has imposed trade tariffs on the EU and disagrees with the bloc over a nuclear deal with Iran. The G7 countries (Canada, the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan and Germany) had invited Russian Federation to their 1998 meeting but disinvited it in 2014 as Russian Federation "temporarily occupied" the Crimean Peninsula.

"As soon as the American side is ready this meeting would take place depending on my working schedule of course", Putin told reporters in the Chinese city of Qingdao.

"Russia welcomes the planned summit of the USA and North Korea and notes China's big contribution to helping settle the crisis on the Korean Peninsula", Putin said.

Putin expressed great thanks for Xi awarding China's first Friendship Medal to him, saying that it is not only the highest honor given to himself, but also reflects the high level of Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, as well as Chinese people's profound friendship towards Russian people. "I'll be honest with you, they have no choice", Trump said. "Please, we will be glad to see everyone here in Moscow".

Trump has drawn frequent criticism for his friendly tone toward Russian Federation and Putin.

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"It wasn't us who left", he said. His remarks come a day after President Donald Trump proposed the inclusion of Russian Federation in the G7 Summit. "I think this is most promising format for the future", he added.

Trump was due to arrive in Singapore on Sunday ahead of a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump has repeatedly attacked the criminal probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation has so far indicted 19 people and three companies on various related charges.

Trump and Putin have spoken by phone eight times, according to readouts distributed by the White House.

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