UN chief holds first meeting with Trump

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United Nations (United States) (AFP) – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday held a brief first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, ahead of a visit of Security Council ambassadors to Washington next week.

Guterres, who took over from Ban Ki-moon in January, also met with the US national security advisor, General H.R. McMaster.

The UN chief had an “interesting and constructive discussion on cooperation between the United States and the United Nations,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Guterres and Trump “agreed to meet again in the near future,” he added.

UN Security Council ambassadors will hold a luncheon meeting with Trump on Monday and meet with US lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Those meetings are likely to focus on North Korea, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and proposed US cuts to UN funding that have raised concerns about the US administration’s support for the world body.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted Friday that she was looking forward to “taking the members of the Security Council to the White House Monday to have first hand dialogue with the president.”

During his election campaign, Trump dismissed the United Nations as “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”

The United States holds the presidency of the 15-member council for the month of April, providing the new administration with an opportunity to showcase its foreign policy priorities.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, pictured in February 2017, will meet with US President Trump and UN Security Council ambassadors to discuss the new administration’s foreign policy and the proposed US cuts to UN funding
Copyright AFP/File OZAN KOSE