Trump to make U.N. de­but with speech of­fer­ing warmth

Santa Fe New Mexican - - NATION - By Jonathan Lemire

NEW YORK — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will use his de­but speech to the U.N. Gen­eral As­sem­bly next week to of­fer warmth to the United States’ al­lies and warn­ings to its ad­ver­saries.

“He slaps the right people, he hugs the right people and he comes out very strong in the end,” U.S. Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions Nikki Ha­ley said Fri­day as she pre­viewed Trump’s Tues­day speech.

Ad­dress­ing the Gen­eral As­sem­bly is a mile­stone mo­ment for any pres­i­dent, but one par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant for Trump, a rel­a­tive new­comer to for­eign pol­icy who has at times rat­tled the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity with his un­pre­dictabil­ity.

“No one is go­ing to grip and grin,” Ha­ley said at a White House brief­ing. “The United States is go­ing to work.”

Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser H.R. McMaster said Trump “will urge all states to come to­gether to ad­dress great dan­gers” fac­ing the globe. Among top­ics cer­tain to be on the agenda: North Korea, which has de­fied both sanc­tions and Trump’s threats by con­tin­u­ing with its ag­gres­sive mis­sile test­ing, and Iran, which the pres­i­dent has ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing an in­ter­na­tional nu­clear deal.

Trump has been sharply crit­i­cal of the United Na­tions in the past, de­nounc­ing its “ut­ter weak­ness and in­com­pe­tence.” As pres­i­dent-elect, he de­rided it as “a club for people to get to­gether, talk and have a good time.” He also sug­gested deep cuts to U.S. fund­ing for the U.N.

Ha­ley and McMaster out­lined a ro­bust sched­ule for Trump, who will also be joined by Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son and other top ad­vis­ers. The meet­ings on the side­lines of the United Na­tions are of­ten done in rapid suc­ces­sion, a weary­ing test for even the most ex­pe­ri­enced for­eign pol­icy team.

The pres­i­dent will meet with French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, a close ally, on Mon­day be­fore hold­ing a din­ner with Latin Amer­i­can lead­ers. On Tues­day, in ad­di­tion to his Gen­eral As­sem­bly speech, Trump will meet with the emir of Qatar, whose king­dom is em­broiled in a dispute with other Mid­dle East na­tions, in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia, over al­leged fund­ing of ter­ror groups.

Trump on Wed­nes­day will hold a work­ing lunch with African lead­ers and will meet with the heads of Jor­dan, Egypt and the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity. The White House has played down prospects for a ma­jor mo­ment in the Mid­dle East peace process. Trump also will sit down with Bri­tish Prime Min­ster Theresa May, just days after she scolded him for choos­ing to pub­licly “spec­u­late” about the na­ture of an ex­plo­sion Fri­day that in­jured at least 22 people in the London sub­way.

Trump, who will stay in his Man­hat­tan pent­house at Trump Tower, will con­clude his stay Thursday with meet­ings with lead­ers from Tur­key, Afghanistan and Ukraine be­fore hold­ing a lunch with the lead­ers of South Korea and Ja­pan, largely to dis­cuss the threats em­a­nat­ing from North Korea.

The pres­i­dents of China and Rus­sia are not ex­pected to at­tend the meet­ings.

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