Trump calls Putin to offer crash condolences

A girl places a candle as a group gather at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow to light 71 candles in memory of those killed in the An-148 plane crash, on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.

Washington: US President Donald Trump called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday to offer his condolences after a deadly plane crash near Moscow, a White House official said.

The call between the two leaders — who are at the centre of an FBI investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election — took place after a plane crashed minutes after takeoff from Domodedovo airport, killing all 71 people on board.

Trump spoke with Putin to “express his condolences regarding the crash of Saratov Airlines Flight 703 on February 11,” the White House said, offering its account of the event.

“President Trump said that the United States was standing by to assist Russian authorities in their investigation.”

The pair also discussed Middle East peace, ahead of Putin’s meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

“The two presidents discussed other topics of mutual concern, and President Trump reiterated the importance of taking further steps to ensure the denuclearization of North Korea,” according to the White House.

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