06:26 GMT +319 September 2018
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    US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman is in the Qol Sharif Mosque during a tour of the Kazan Kremlin

    Huntsman Reportedly Refuses to Resign Amid Calls to Quit Over Helsinki Summit

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    US Envoy to Russia Jon Huntsman responded Saturday to calls to resign by saying he would not quit, US media reported.

    In a column published in The Salt Lake Tribune, which is reportedly owned by Huntsman's brother, the US diplomat said that he would remain in his post after "conducting an unscientific survey among my colleagues."

    "The laughter told me everything I needed to know," Huntsman wrote. "It also underscores the fragile nature of this moment." The US ambassador also said that he has "been around politics long enough to understand the moment we face and the legitimate arguments on all sides."

    On Tuesday, writer Robert Gehre had reportedly called for Huntsman to quit in a column published in the same media outlet, stressing that the US envoy works "for a pawn, not a president."

    The column appeared a day after Helsinki hosted a historic summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin which sparked widespread criticism in US-based media.

    Jon Huntsman earlier noted that the Helsinki summit would help decrease tensions between Russia and the United States, stressing the importance of starting a dialogue with Russia, because many international issues can only be resolved by both parties.

    In April, Jon Huntsman expressed hope for an improvement in Washington-Moscow ties, which have deteriorated due to a number of issues, including the Ukraine crisis and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

    On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump had asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to visit the United States in the fall, adding that consultations on the meeting had already started.

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    calls, envoy, resignation, US Embassy in Russia, Jon Huntsman, United States
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