President Obama Meets with “Friend and Partner” Medvedev

May 26, 2011 8:30am

DEAUVILLE, FRANCE — Before the G8 summit commences, President Obama met with his “friend and partner” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia at the Hotel Royal Barriere.

Afterwards, the two leaders made brief joint statements to the cameras. They did not take any questions.

The top topics, according to a senior White House official, were issues remaining to be resolved before Russia can join the World Trade Organization and implementing the START missile defense treaty. In the meeting, which ran long, the two also discussed broader topics relating to the Middle East and North Africa, “sharing ideas on how we can manage the transition process, ensure stability and solve conflicts in a peaceful way,” the president said.

The two leaders also discussed enforcing sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. The president praised the cooperative relationship pertaining to nuclear security and counterterrorism.

Medvedev, the president said, “is doing fine work in moving Russia forward.”

The Russian leader said that his “personal relationship” with President Obama “helps us advance.”

The two issued a number of joint statements and agreements on counterterrorism, civil aviation security, visa issues, the Bering Strait region, a joint report assessing  21st Century Missile Challenges,” innovation, the rule of law, smart grid partnership, eradicating polio, and medical research.

Later today President Obama will arrive at Villa La Cercle where he will be welcomed by President Sarkozy of France. The world leaders will work together at the Centre International de Deauville, after which the president will meet with Prime Minister Kan of Japan. He will dine with the other world leaders at Le Ciro’s Barriere Restaurant.

After kissing his wife goodbye at the tarmac in London, the president flew to France and was greeted at the Deauville Airport this morning by US Ambassador Charles Rivkin and other officials. The president is using a smaller Air Force One plane — the C-25, the equivalent of a 757—because the airport in Deauville is so small.

-Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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