Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Secret meeting raises questions about Colombia and Trump,

Foreign policy roundup

- By Franco Ordonez and Anita Kumar

BOGOTA, Colombia — President Donald Trump quietly met a pair of former Colombian presidents last weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, thrusting his administra­tion into an ugly power struggle in Latin America that is seen as threatenin­g to undermine the country’s controvers­ial peace deal with rebel leaders.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is expected to push Mr. Trump to support the peace accord with the Revolution­ary Armed Forces of Colombia at their first meeting at the White House next month. He wants the Trump administra­tion and Congress to maintain the $450 million in foreign aid promised by former President Barack Obama to implement the plan to end Latin America’s longest armed conflict.

The meeting was between Mr. Trump and the former presidents, Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana. Colombia news media have reported it was arranged by a U.S. critic of the plan, Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

The White House said it was a mere coincidenc­e that both former leaders opposed to the peace pact were at the president’s club.

But in a tweet following the meeting, Mr. Pastrana thanked Mr. Trump for the “cordial and very frank conversati­on” about problems in Colombia and the region.

Mr. Uribe’s former vice president, Francisco Santos, said it was important that U.S. leaders hear a more complete picture of the reality in Colombia.

Meanwhile, other news related to U.S. foreign policy developed as well.

WikiLeaks charges?

Federal prosecutor­s reportedly are weighing whether to bring criminal charges against members of WikiLeaks, taking a second look at a 2010 leak of diplomatic and military documents and probing on the group’s responsibi­lity for the more recent revelation of sensitive CIA cybertools.

Canada chided

Mr. Trump added a new name to the list of countries he accuses of exploiting U.S. trade policies: Canada.

“What they’ve done to our dairy farmworker­s is a disgrace,” Mr. Trump said, referring to Canada’s system of protection­ist dairy quotas.

NATO spending

At the White House Thursday, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni promised to contribute more toward NATO’s defense — only not quickly.

No military role

Mr. Trump said he did not see a role for the U.S. in Libya beyond fighting the Islamic State. The U.S. “has right now enough roles,” he said.

Iran nuclear deal

Iran is failing to fulfill the “spirit” of its nuclear deal with world powers, said Mr. Trump, who will decide on whether to pull the U.S. out of the landmark agreement.

Optimistic on China

Mr. Trump voiced optimism that the U.S. had successful­ly enlisted China to try to persuade North Korea — which on Thursday faced a threat of new sanctions from the U.N. Security Council — to give up its nuclear weapons program.

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