Friday 19 July 2019

Trump will visit London this year as new Nato summit announced

President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, at the Capitol in Washington, DC on February 5, 2019. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS
President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, at the Capitol in Washington, DC on February 5, 2019. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

Alastair MacDonald

US president Donald Trump is set to visit the UK in December after Nato's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced alliance leaders will meet for a summit in London.

The announcement is sure to spark renewed speculation of an Irish stopover as Mr Trump owns property in Co Clare.

The choice of location has added symbolism, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union next month while asserting that it will retain a key role in the continent's security.

The London trip will bring him close to his Doonbeg property although the exact logistics of his schedule will need to be finalised later this year.

Mr Trump had previously been due to visit Ireland in November last year but the trip was cancelled.

He was planning to spend one day in Dublin before travelling to Doonbeg, Co Clare where he owns the golf resort.

That stopover was due to take place on his way home from Armistice Day commemorations in France on November 11.

Sources at the time confirmed to Independent.ie that "an open invitation" still stands for the US President to visit Ireland, and there is an expectation that Mr Trump will visit before his term ends in 2020.

At the last NATO summit, at the alliance's Brussels headquarters in July, Mr Trump unsettled many European allies, including Germany, with demands that they spend more on their own defence and reduce what he called their dependence on Russia for much of their energy needs.

Announcing the December summit, Mr Stoltenberg said: "We are grateful to the United Kingdom for agreeing to host this meeting in NATO's 70th anniversary year.

"London was the home of NATO's first headquarters. The United Kingdom was one of the Alliance’s twelve founding members and continues to play a key role in the Alliance, making essential contributions to our shared security.

"The meeting in London will be an opportunity ... to address the security challenges we face now and in the future, and to ensure that NATO continues to adapt in order to keep its population of almost one billion people safe."

Reuters

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