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Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British election

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:41s

Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British election

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves on Monday for a NATO summit in London and he is under pressure from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resist the temptation to wade into the British election campaign coming up later in December.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British election

U.S. President Donald Trump travels to London on Monday (December 2) ahead of this week's NATO summit.

His visit comes less than two weeks away from the British election - prompting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to remind Trump to resist the temptation to get involved.

Back in October, Trump waded in by saying Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would be 'so bad' for Britain, and that Johnson should agree on a pact with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

In response to Johnson's concerns, the White House stressed that Trump is "is absolutely cognizant of not, again, wading into other country's elections." At the London summit, marking NATO's 70th anniversary, leaders will try to put on a show of unity as they face questions about the future of the U.S.-led alliance.

Trump is due to hold separate talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently vented that NATO was experiencing "brain death'' - prompting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to tell Macron to check that his own own brain was not failing.

Macron complained of a lack of strategic coordination between European allies on the one hand and the United States and Turkey, on the other.

He has also decried NATO's inability to react to what he called Turkey's "crazy" offensive into northern Syria.

U.S. officials regard the NATO summit as a celebratory moment for Trump, as his pressure on member nations has led many to increase their military spending.

He is expected to seek support from member nations to increase pressure on China for what the United States sees as Beijing's expansionist policies.

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