Trump to ‘slap’ foes, em­brace friends in first UN speech

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (Reuters) – US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will pum­mel foes and em­brace friends in his first speech to the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly next week, keep­ing pres­sure on North Korea and Iran, US Am­bas­sador to the UN Nikki Ha­ley said on Fri­day.

Brief­ing re­porters ahead of the an­nual UN meet­ing, Ha­ley and White House na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser H.R. McMaster took a tough line on North Korea, warn­ing that a mil­i­tary op­tion to deal with its nu­clear threats was avail­able.

Trump will meet with lead­ers from Europe, Asia, the Mid­dle East and Latin Amer­ica through­out the week, but his re­marks, sched­uled for Tues­day morn­ing, will be the pres­i­dent’s high­est pro­file op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain his for­eign pol­icy vi­sion couched in his “Amer­ica first” agenda.

“I per­son­ally think he slaps the right peo­ple, he hugs the right peo­ple, and he comes out with (the) US be­ing very strong, in the end,” Ha­ley, speak­ing at the White House, said of Trump’s speech.

Ha­ley de­clined to say whether Trump would com­mit Wash­ing­ton to main­tain­ing its cur­rent level of fund­ing for the 193-na­tion body. Trump has com­plained that the US funds 22 per­cent of the UN bud­get and nearly 30 per­cent of its peace­keep­ing du­ties.

Trump will kick off the week with a meet­ing about UN re­form to­mor­row. He will then have meet­ings with French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu that will fo­cus on Iran, McMaster said. Trump has din­ner sched­uled with Latin Amer­i­can lead­ers.

On Tues­day, he will meet Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al-Thani. Trump said last week he would be will­ing to me­di­ate the worst dis­pute in decades between Qatar and US-al­lied Arab states.

On Wed­nes­day, he will meet with lead­ers from Jordan, the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity, Bri­tain and Egypt and on Thurs­day there are talks sched­uled with lead­ers from Turkey, Afghanistan and Ukraine be­fore hold­ing a lunch with the lead­ers of South Korea and Ja­pan.

McMaster said it was un­likely that Trump would speak to Venezuela’s Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro, whom the White House has sanc­tioned and called a dic­ta­tor.


Na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser H.R. McMaster (right) joins US Am­bas­sador to the UN Nikki Ha­ley dur­ing a news brief­ing at the White House on Fri­day.

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