Trump at the UN: What to watch for Monday – The Hill
Trump’s Monday will be packed with meetings, leading up to his first-ever speech to the general assembly on Tuesday — a highly anticipated address in which the president is expected to discuss the specific threats of North Korea, Iran and global terrorism.
The president’s schedule also includes meeting with representatives from more than 120 nations as well as the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to discuss reforming the international organization. Trump has been highly critical of the U.N. and the U.S. is backing changes it hopes will make the organization more efficient and effective.
The president will then meet with leaders from France and Israel with an expected focus on the Middle East — and Iran in particular — for what national security adviser H.R. McMaster has called that country’s “destabilizing behavior” in the region.
Trump will close out his first day of meetings at a working dinner with Latin American leaders to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, as well as how to maximize economic partnerships between the U.S. and South America.
Along the way, the threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and global terrorism in the wake of an attack on a London subway figure to be hot topics of discussion.
Here are four things to watch for during Trump’s visit:
U.S. pushes for reforms to the U.N.
The Trump administration has not been shy about expressing its discontent with the U.N.
The White House believes the U.S. pays too much, gets too little in return and that peacekeeping missions should be examined for excessive spending. Administration officials have described the U.N. as a bloated bureaucracy and have expressed anger by what they view as insufficient support for key allies, like Israel.
Trump appears to have an ally for reform in Guterres, who assumed the role of secretary general in January.
U.N. ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHas President Trump passed enough tests as yet? North Korea: UN sanctions aimed at ‘suffocating’ our people Trump, Nikki Haley can punish Iran without ending nuclear deal MORE said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that she is happy with the direction the U.N. has taken recent weeks, noting that “Israel bashing” has declined and the U.N. has passed new sanctions on North Korea.
“It is a new day at the U.N. and I think that the pleas [Trump] made in terms of trying to see change at the United Nations have been heard,” Haley said.
“We said we needed to get value for our dollar, and what we’re finding is that the international community is right there with us in support of reform,” she added.
Disagreements over how to deal with Iran
Trump will meet with leaders from Israel and France to discuss Iran on Monday, as the administration steps up its rhetoric against Tehran.
“While their conversations will be wide-ranging, we expect that Iran’s destabilizing behavior, including its violation of the sovereignty of nations across the Middle East, to be a major focus,” McMaster said at a press briefing on Friday.
The White House has until mid-October to notify Congress of whether it believes Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.
British prime minister Theresa May has sought to stress the importance of that deal in private meetings with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS limiting visas in four countries for refusing deportations Senate votes down Paul’s bid to revoke war authorizations ‘Game of Thrones’ polling company takes on White House shakeups MORE.
However, Tillerson’s view is that while Iran may technically be keeping to the terms of the deal, that the country has violated the spirit of the agreement through a litany of other “destabilizing activities in the region.”