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Donald Trump to Focus on Protecting US Sovereignty in UNGA Address

Trump will participate in a number of UN General Assembly (UNGA) events and bilateral meetings from September 24-27.

PTI

Updated:September 21, 2018, 11:32 AM IST
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Donald Trump to Focus on Protecting US Sovereignty in UNGA Address
US President Donald Trump. (Image: Reuters)
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United Nations President Donald Trump will talk about protecting US sovereignty, expanding relations with countries that share similar values and call for a halt to the spread of weapons of mass destruction during next week's gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, his top diplomat to the UN has said.

Trump will participate in a number of UN General Assembly (UNGA) events and bilateral meetings from September 24-27.

Trump will hold bilateral meetings with Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President of the General Assembly Mara Fernanda Espinosa Garces, leaders of South Korea, Egypt, France, Israel, Japan and the UK on the sidelines of the UNGA.

Trump is "looking forward to talking about the foreign policy successes the US has had over the last year and where we are going to go from here. He wants to talk about protecting US sovereignty," and expanding relations with countries that share similar values, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters here Thursday.

Haley cited the example of the US decisions to exit the UN's Global Migration Compact and the Paris Climate Change Accord, saying that "all of these things that we felt like were mandating things on the US, those aren't things we want to be involved in. We really value sovereignty of the country."

She added that this is not saying that multilateralism cannot work, "but it's saying sovereignty is a priority over all of that.

"Anytime the US talks about sovereignty, it's always going to be the will of the American people and not the will of international community," the Indian-American diplomat said.

Haley said the President will also talk about foreign aid and how generous the US is.

"He will also lay down a marker that while the US is generous, we are going to be generous to those who share our values, generous to those who want to work with us and not those that try to stop the US or say that they hate America and are counter-productive to what we are doing."

Haley highlighted achievements in the United States' September UN Security Council presidency and previewed the President's schedule and events for the other members of the Administration who will visit New York next week, as she previewed U.S. priorities for the 73rd UN General Assembly High-Level session, set to begin on September 24.

Haley said Trump will kick-off on September 24 the US global call to action on the world drug problem. She said so far 124 countries have signed up and more will be added, showing how the world drug problem affects so many countries in so many different ways. The focus is going to be on reducing the use of illicit drugs, cutting the supply off, expanding treatment and on international cooperation and how we deal with each other in reference to illicit drugs.

On September 26, he will preside over a Security Council meeting that initially was supposed to focus on Iran but will now be centered on non-proliferation. Haley said with the issues of possible chemical weapons use in Idlib, assassination attempts on a British citizen and his daughter in the UK and reinforced sanctions on North Korea, the need was felt to have a "broader conversation on non-proliferation and what we can do as an international community to move forward" on the issue.

On Iran she said the country continues to be "a problem. Every dangerous spot in the world, Iran seems to have its fingerprints in it.

The President and First Lady Melania Trump will also host all heads of delegation on Monday night as well as host a reception for current and next year's Security Council members, their foreign ministers and spouses on Tuesday.

Vice President Mike Pence will also participate in a high level meeting on Venezuela and migration hosted by Colombia, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will chair a Security Council meeting on North Korea. Haley said that every single foreign minister will attend the SC meeting on North Korea, adding that "it's a conversation that needs to be had. It will give a chance for us to look at what we have achieved and the progress on North Korea.

Other top Trump administration officials who will be in New York for the high-level week are Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and first daughter and senior adviser to the president, Ivanka Trump.

When asked about the Rohingya crisis, Haley said she will participate in a ministerial meeting hosted by the UK on the status of the Rohingyas where we have to got to figure out how we are going to bring the Rohingyas back to Myanmar in a way that is safe.

"I dont think the government has done enough and I dont think the military has accepted responsibility, she said adding that the fact Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi acknowledged that the Reuters reporters were right to be detained and impriosned is a real problem. "We have a communication issue right now with Burma in that what they are saying no one is understanding and what we are saying they are not hearing.
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