World: The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken says he had a "frank" discussion with Sergei Lavrov on American prisoners

Lavrov in Africa Sunday to develop

 Lavrov in Africa Sunday to develop Ukraine-Russia-Africa relations: Lavrov in Africa on Sunday to develop © Reuters/Willy Kurniawan Lavrov Relations in Africa on Sunday to develop Cairo relations (Reuters)-The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov will start a tour of Africa on Sunday in order to develop economic ties between Russia and the continent, while the West imposed sanctions against Moscow because of the invasion of Ukraine.

The two officials exchanged for the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine in late February.

  Le chef de la diplomatie américaine Antony Blinken dit avoir eu une discussion © provided by Franceinfo

The American diplomacy chief announced Friday, July 29, having had a "frank and direct" discussion with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Antony Blinken pressed him to accept the United States's offer to obtain the release of two Americans detained in Russia. "I called on the Kremlin to accept the substantial offer we made to them," said the US Secretary of State during a press conference.

This is the first interview between the two men since the start of the war in Ukraine. The American diplomacy chief announced on Wednesday that he planned to contact his Russian counterpart to discuss an offer from the United States to release the basketball player Brittney Griner and ex-soldier Paul Whelan. It could be an exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer imprisoned in the United States.

Russian foreign minister seeks Arab world's support

  Russian foreign minister seeks Arab world's support Sergei Lavrov is in Egypt as Moscow counters international anger over the war in Ukraine. Mr Lavrov held talks in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.Egypt has significant ties with Russia, which supplies wheat, weapons and - until the invasion of Ukraine began - large numbers of tourists. It is the first stage for Mr Lavrov of a brief tour of Africa taking in Ethiopia, Uganda and Congo-Brazzaville.In an article published by local newspapers in the run-up to his tour, Mr Lavrov said his country had always "sincerely supported Africans in their struggle for freedom from the colonial yoke".

Relations "which strongly need to be normalized"

Antony Blinken did not wish to describe the reaction of Sergei Lavrov. "I can't tell you if I think things are more or less likely," he said. "But it was important that he hears it directly."

For its part, Russian diplomacy assured that the two ministers had "exchanged their opinions on the problem of bilateral relations which greatly need to be normalized". "Regarding a possible exchange of Russian and American prisoners, the Russian party insisted that we return to the regime of a professional dialogue, free from media speculation, within the framework of a 'discreet diplomacy'", -Is she explained in a press release.

Lavrov says Blinken has not shown «interest» in meeting during ASEAN summit .
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed Friday that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has shown «no interest» in holding a meeting on the sidelines of the annual ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Cambodia. © Provided by News 360 Archive - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - -/Russian Foreign Ministry/dpa "We sat down with him today at a discussion table.

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