News

January 23, 2017
 

News Briefs – January 23, 2017

British leader to meet with Trump to discuss trade, NATO

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Jan. 22 she plans to discuss free trade and the importance of the NATO military alliance when she becomes the first foreign leader to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.
The White House’s invitation for May to meet with Trump on Friday was seen in Britain as affirmation that Trump values the vaunted “special relationship” between the United States and its longtime ally across the Atlantic.
She told BBC’s Andrew Marr that the Trump team is interested in discussing a new trade arrangement with Britain despite the “America first” theme of Trump’s inaugural address and his vow to evaluate every trade deal for its possible benefits to the United States.
Any national leader would do the same when deciding whether to sign a trade pact, May said.
Britain sees a future trade agreement with the United States as vital as the country prepares to leave the European Union. However, Britain’s desire for increased trade could clash with Trump’s protectionist stance.
May said she would also raise the value of the NATO military alliance during the meeting. She called it the “bulwark” of Europe’s defense system.
Trump has rattled European allies by suggesting NATO is “obsolete” and that the United States might not come to the aid of countries that don’t meet targets for their own defense spending.
May maintained that Trump understands NATO’s vital role. European leaders worry about a watering down of the NATO role given the increasingly aggressive actions by Russia in recent years.
The prime minister didn’t directly answer questions about whether she will use Friday’s meeting to challenge Trump over derogatory comments he has made about women. May criticized crude remarks of his that surfaced during the presidential campaign.
But she said she would speak out if she finds his future behavior or comments “unacceptable.” May said she has a long track record promoting equal rights for women, adding that she is proud to be Britain’s second female prime minister.
“When I sit down, I think the biggest statement that will be made about the role of women is the fact that I will be there as a female prime minister, prime minister of the United Kingdom, directly taking to him about the interests that we share,” she said.
British officials say May will also speak to Republican senators and representatives at a retreat in Philadelphia. AP
 

Two U.S. soldiers hurt in ammunition truck accident in Poland

Poland’s Defense Ministry says two U.S. soldiers have been hurt in an Army truck accident in southwestern Poland.
A ministry communique issued Jan. 22 said the truck carrying tank ammunition skidded off a slippery road because the driver was going too fast for the winter road conditions.
Some of the ammunition for M-1 Abrams tanks the truck was hauling spilled onto the road leading to Zagan, where U.S. troops are based. The road was temporarily closed after the accident occurred after dark Saturday.
A spokesman for local firefighters, Capt. Dariusz Szymura, tells television station TVN24 that one of the soldiers was hospitalized.
About 3,500 U.S. troops are deploying to Poland under a plan approved by former President Barack Obama to ease the worry in a region nervous about Russian military activity. AP




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