News Briefs – April 15, 2017


U.S. says withdrawing UN military from Haiti is good example

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says U.N. peacekeeping has made “a great contribution” to Haiti and the Security Council’s expected vote to withdraw all troops by mid-October is an example of how peacekeeping missions should change as a country’s political situation changes.
The United States is currently reviewing the U.N.’s 16 far-flung peacekeeping operations to assess costs and effectiveness.
Haley told the Security Council Tuesday that thanks to recent elections “the political context is right” for a new and smaller mission.
She strongly backed the transformation of Haiti’s U.N. mission from military patrols to focusing on developing the country’s police force, supporting the rule of law and protecting human rights.
The Security Council was scheduled to vote April 13 on a resolution to withdraw the 2,370 military personnel by Oct. 15. AP

Trump signs off on Montenegro’s upcoming entry into NATO

President Donald Trump has signed off on Montenegro’s upcoming accession into NATO, helping pave the way for the military alliance’s expansion in the Balkans.
The White House says in a statement that Trump looks forward to welcoming Montenegro as the 29th member of the NATO alliance at next month’s meeting in Brussels.
The Senate in March voted overwhelmingly to ratify the tiny Balkan nation’s entry into the alliance.
Russia strongly opposes the expansion of the Western military alliance in a region it considers part of its strategic sphere of interest.
Trump’s move came ahead of his White House meeting April 12 with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. AP