Donald Trump to welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May in 1st meeting with foreign leader

January 22, 2017 11:30 am

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer delivers a statement in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on January 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The White House has announced that President will receive British Prime Minister Theresa May later this week in his first meeting with a foreign leader early into his term.
The upcoming meeting, due to take place on Friday, was announced during a briefing by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday.
Press reports in Britain, however, referred to the planned visit to Washington by May as a “major diplomatic coup” for the prime minister for becoming the first European leader to “secure” an official meeting with the new US president.
Beating other European leaders to the White House after Trump’s inauguration has also been described by British media as a key objective for May and her government since he surprisingly defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
The development comes as May is overseeing the UK’s departure from the European Union, or Brexit, which was approved in a national referendum amid a swell of anti-establishment enthusiasm similar to what led to the stunning victory of politically inexperienced Trump in the US presidential race.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will become the first foreign leader to meet with new US President Donald Trump. (Photo by AFP)

Washington’s invitation of May this week is viewed as “evidence of Trump’s genuine willingness to help Britain make a success of Brexit,” according to a Guardian report, which also described the development as “an implicit snub to the EU, which Trump has described as a mere “vehicle” for Germany” in the eyes of other European leaders.
According to UK media reports, high on the agenda of the May-Trump meeting will be discussions on plans for a post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the US as well as continued Washington’s lead role in the NATO military alliance.
May extended her congratulations to Trump following his inauguration on Friday and has said that she believes Trump does recognize the significance of NATO even though he had referred to the Western military alliance as “obsolete” just days ago.
May and her team regard the White House meeting with Trump “as a chance not only to show that the president is on side with her plans to develop new trade arrangements with Washington after Britain leaves the European Union, but also more broadly to re-emphasize that the special relationship between the two countries is alive and well in the broadest sense,” The Guardian said.
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