President Donald Trump has a pivotal week ahead of him as he is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly for the first time in office.
Trump’s appearance at the U.N. will come amidst concerns over North Korea’s missile program, continued unrest in Venezuela, increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia, the ongoing civil war in Syria, and a whole host of global issues.
The president has a packed schedule. He will meet with world leaders Monday to discuss U.N. reforms, sit down with the heads of France and Israel to discuss concerns about Iran’s behavior, among other issues. He’ll then host a working dinner with Latin American leaders.
The U.S. has sanctioned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said at a press briefing Friday that it is “unlikely” that Trump will “speak with President Maduro.” (RELATED: Venezuela’s Economy Is So Bad, Citizens Can’t Afford A $0.001 Ice Cream Cone)
Then on Tuesday, Trump will deliver his much awaited speech to the U.N. General Assembly.
“I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with the U.S. being very strong in the end,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Friday about the speech.
Trump, who seeks to govern on an “America First” platform, has previously criticized the U.N.
“The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time,” Trump tweeted in December 2016. “So sad!”
Richard Gowan of the European Council on Foreign Relations told NPR: “I think foreign leaders expect Trump to have some harsh words for the U.N….They will tolerate that if he balances it with some positive messages about cooperation and especially if he emphasizes that he wants to work diplomatically on some of the major crises of the moment.”
Later on Tuesday, Trump will have lunch with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, followed by meetings with Slovakia’s Miroslav Lajčák, president of the U.N. General Assembly, and with the Emir of Qatar. American Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain have all cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar over allegations that the nation supports Iran.
“If I can help mediate between Qatar and, in particular, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, I would be willing to do so, and I think you would have a deal worked out very quickly,” Trump said in a recent press conference.
Then on Wednesday, Trump will meet with the leaders of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and the United Kingdom.
McMaster said on Friday that Trump will discuss “the prospects for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, among a broad range of regional issues,” when he meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Trump will also host a working luncheon with African leaders on Wednesday. A former top official from the Ivory Coast told The Daily Caller in April that many African politicians were joyous about Trump’s victory as they hoped it would mean less foreign military intervention in the region. (RELATED: African Leaders Are Secretly Happy About Trump Presidency, Former Top Official Says)
On Thursday, Trump’s final day at the U.N., he will meet with the leaders of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. “The latter two countries in particular have suffered direct and persistent attacks on their sovereignty in recent years,” McMaster said Friday. (RELATED: Turkey’s Erdogan Turns On Trump Administration)
He will also host a lunch that day with the leaders of Japan and South Korea, which both feel threatened by North Korea’s growing missile program.
Two world leaders central to world affairs, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, won’t be present at the U.N. General Assembly.
U.N. Ambassador Haley shot down the notion that this would effect diplomatic efforts.
“I do think that it’s still going to be strong and have an impact because you’ve got two very strong foreign ministers from Russia and China that are going to be there,” Haley said Friday. “And the idea that we’re going to be talking about Syria and North Korea, and Iran, and all of those other things, I think it will be serious discussions. “