What to Expect at Trump's First UN Summit

President's big speech is Tuesday, but his week is packed with smaller meetings
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2017 6:28 AM CDT
What to Expect at Trump's First UN Summit
President gestures while speaking about tax reform, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, at the Loren Cook Company in Springfield, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

President Trump attends his first session of the UN General Assembly this week, with his big speech scheduled for Tuesday. In addition to that, however, he's got a packed week of meetings with fellow world leaders, a format that one analyst compares to "speed dating from hell," via CNN. Aides have previewed some of the big topics Trump is expected to hit, with North Korea, Iran's nuclear program, global terrorism, the Venezuelan economic meltdown, and UN reform among them. But much of the advance focus is on how Trump will interact with his fellow leaders in front of an organization he has previously belittled. UN ambassador Nikki Haley offered a preview on Sunday: "I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with the US being very strong in the end," she said in regard to his Tuesday speech, per the New York Times.

Some highlights: (Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping, and Germany's Angela Merkel are not expected to attend, notes USA Today):

  • Monday: Trumps meets with the leaders of France and Israel, with Iran expected to be a big focus, reports the Hill. He also hosts a dinner with Latin American leaders, at which Venezuela is likely to be the No. 1 topic.
  • Tuesday: Trump delivers his speech to the General Assembly, his first as president to the full body.
  • Wednesday: Trump meets with the leaders of Britain, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority, and hosts a lunch with leaders from Africa.
  • Thursday: In addition to meetings with the leaders of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, he hosts a lunch with the leaders of South Korea and Japan. The latter could be key in determining what comes next in regard to North Korea.
  • Key quote: "The world is still trying to take the measure of this president," says Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "For a number of leaders, this is going to be their first chance to see him, to judge him, to try to get on his good side. ... They will have been preparing for a chance encounter for weeks."
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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