State Division retains quiet as Pompeo meets Lavrov in Munich

MUNICH — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Safety Convention on Friday in an encounter the American facet apparently wished to maintain below wraps.

The State Division made no announcement of the assembly, which befell in Lavrov’s personal devoted assembly room on the Resort Bayerischer Hof, the place the most important annual convention of politicians, policymakers and safety consultants is held. Pompeo’s aides additionally didn’t present any readout after the assembly ended.

Russian journalists touring with Lavrov have been conscious of the assembly prematurely, and wrote about it afterward.

Lavrov’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, confirmed the assembly in a Facebook post, which included a photograph of Pompeo in a hallway of the lodge, and Lavrov standing in a doorway just a few steps behind him.

Within the publish, Zakharova wrote that Pompeo had mentioned “good luck” to these gathered within the hallway, and cheekily added that those that heard it “gasped.”

“There are few to whom People now want one thing good,” she wrote.

Requested concerning the assembly by POLITICO, a State Division official confirmed that there had been a “pull apart” with Lavrov however gave no additional particulars. The official denied that the State Division requested Russia to not publicize the assembly and mentioned it didn’t usually difficulty readouts of “pull asides.”

There was no point out of the assembly in a briefing by a senior administration official about U.S. efforts on the safety convention. The official mentioned Pompeo met with Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan area of Iraq, and that U.S. officers met with Israeli counterparts in addition to with a senior EU international affairs official, Helga Schmid.

It was not instantly clear why the State Division didn’t disclose the assembly between Pompeo and his Russian counterpart prematurely.

The secretary of state has had some tense interactions with journalists lately, together with an outburst at a Nationwide Public Radio reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, after Pompeo grew to become offended at being requested questions on Ukraine in an interview. After that outburst, the State Division barred another NPR reporter from touring on Pompeo’s aircraft.

A Russian journalist touring with Lavrov mentioned the U.S. facet had requested that there be no press convention or joint statements and that photographers not even be invited to take an image of the 2 high diplomats shaking fingers.

Nahal Toosi contributed reporting from Washington.

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