Rosy re­cep­tion as Euro­pean trip be­gins, but Ger­many could get thorny

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Darlene Superville and Ken Thomas The As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent Trump ar­rives in War­saw for the be­gin­ning of his re­turn visit to Europe, where he’s count­ing on a warm wel­come in Poland to help him nav­i­gate what could be a frostier re­cep­tion at an in­ter­na­tional sum­mit in Ger­many. »

WAR­SAW, POLAND» Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump opened his two-na­tion Euro­pean visit with a warm wel­come in Poland be­fore he en­coun­ters what could be a frostier re­cep­tion and thornier is­sues at an in­ter­na­tional sum­mit in Ger­many. Trump’s sit-down with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s first launch of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile threaten to put Trump’s skills as a ne­go­tia­tor to the test.

Trump ar­rived in War­saw late Wed­nes­day for a 16-hour visit that in­cludes a key­note ad­dress to the Poles from Krasin­ski Square, site of a mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rat­ing the 1944 War­saw Up­ris­ing against the Nazis. Scores of peo­ple who lined dark­ened roads waved Amer­i­can and Pol­ish flags and recorded video of Trump’s mo­tor­cade as it sped him and his wife, Me­la­nia, to their ho­tel.

Trump has sched­uled talks with the lead­ers of Poland and Croa­tia and may hold a joint news con­fer­ence — his first one abroad — with Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda. He also was meet­ing with the heads of a dozen coun­tries bor­dered by the Baltic, Adri­atic and Black seas. Col­lec­tively known as the Three Seas Ini­tia­tive, the group aims to ex­pand and mod­ern­ize en­ergy and trade with a goal of re­duc­ing the re­gion’s de­pen­dence on Rus­sian en­ergy.

Duda told Pol­ish broad­caster TVN24 on Wed­nes­day that he wants to tackle con­crete is­sues such as en­ergy se­cu­rity in the meet­ing with Trump, not en­gage in “some gen­eral talk about world se­cu­rity.” Trump re­cently de­voted a week to U.S. en­ergy pro- duc­tion.

At the same time, Trump will have to con­tend with es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions with North Korea af­ter it suc­cess­fully launched its first in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile this week. Asked, as he left the White House, what he would do about North Korea, Trump said only, “We’re go­ing to do very well.”

Trump, who’s been seek­ing China’s help in con­tain­ing Py­ongyang’s mis­sile and nu­clear weapons pro­grams, also tweeted his frus­tra­tion with China for con­tin­u­ing to trade with North Korea.

“So much for China work­ing with us — but we had to give it a try!” Trump wrote.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is among at least nine lead­ers Trump is sched­uled to meet with later in the week in Ger­many dur­ing the Group of 20 sum­mit of the world’s lead­ing rich and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Trump will meet one on one with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel im­me­di­ately af­ter he ar­rives Thurs­day in Ger­many. U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son planned to join Trump later.

Trump will walk a fine line when he meets Fri­day with Putin. The highly an­tic­i­pated sit-down comes when re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions are at a low point, and with the pres­i­dent show­ing re­luc­tance to adopt a harder line to­ward Rus­sia amid con­clu­sions by mul­ti­ple U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies that Moscow med­dled in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to ben­e­fit Trump, and con­tin­u­ing fed­eral and con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates and Rus­sian govern­ment of­fi­cials.

Trump’s re­turn to Europe fol­lows a shaky in­au­gu­ral visit in late May and signs of un­hap­pi­ness around the globe with his pres­i­dency.

A re­cent Pew Re­search Cen­ter sur­vey of at­ti­tudes to­ward Trump in more than three dozen coun­tries found fewer than three in 10 re­spon­dents ex­press­ing con­fi­dence in his abil­ity to do the right thing on in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.

Trump’s ear­lier visit was marred by sev­eral awk­ward en­coun­ters, in­clud­ing a tough speech to NATO mem­bers urg­ing them to spend more on their armed forces, an un­com­fort­able hand­shake with France’s new pres­i­dent and a caught-on-cam­era mo­ment when Trump pushed past the prime min­is­ter of Mon­tene­gro to get to the front of a group photo op­por­tu­nity. Poland may of­fer him a chance to shine. Pol­ish me­dia re­ports say the govern­ment promised the White House cheer­ing crowds as part of its in­vi­ta­tion. Rul­ing party law­mak­ers and pro-govern­ment ac­tivists plan to bus in groups of peo­ple for Trump’s speech.

Saul Loeb, AFP

Don­ald and Me­la­nia Trump ar­rive on Air Force One at War­saw Chopin Air­port in Poland on Wed­nes­day as they be­gin a four­day trip to Poland and Ger­many. The pres­i­dent will at­tend his first G20 sum­mit.

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