Highlights of Davos- Pres. Trump suggests trade deal with UK, Tillerson meets with Barzani of Kurdistan

President Trump arrived at Davos this Thursday to sell his “America First” agenda and network with world leaders. The President will address the forum on Friday after a reception in his honor with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Swiss President Alain Berset and Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Meanwhile Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with the leader of Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani.

In a statement before his flight on Wednesday, Trump stated “I’m going to Davos right now to get people to invest in the United States, I’m going to say: ‘Come into the United States. You have plenty of money.’ But I don’t think I have to go, because they’re coming, they’re coming at a very fast clip.”

President Trump echoed this exuberant sentiment in a tweet, stating

Among the President’s meetings today included a bilateral meeting with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the US’ Embassy move to Jerusalem, and a meeting with the UK’s Theresa May, among announcing tariffs and other key economic policies.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin led the largest US delegation to the Davos World Economic Summit, where Mnuchin announced, “It just means that President Trump is looking out for American workers and American interests, no different than he expects other leaders would look out for their own.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross argued for new tariffs on imported solar panel components and washing machines to address “inappropriate behavior” by other nations, and rejected the idea that the tariffs are protectionist. 

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the United States continues to have a “special relationship” with Britain, and during his meeting with Theresa May, President Trump insisted that the tension between the two nations was a “false rumor” and that the two sides were discussing the possibility of a later presidential trip after the last trip was canceled.

Theresa May was polite but less enthusiastic, stating, 

“We, too, have that really special relationship between the U.K. and the United States,” she said. “It’s at each other’s shoulders. We face the same challenges across the world, and as you say we’re willing to go and to defeat those challenges and meet them.”

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first meeting was with Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani.  Tillerson expressed happiness over what he called constructive meetings between the Erbil and Baghdad delegations in attempts to resolve their outstanding issues, and also threw US support around the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq to overcome its economic crisis and reiterate American support.

Photo composite : US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson [L] and Kurdistan Region's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani [R]. Photo: AFP/Rudaw

Source: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson [L] and Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani [R]. Photo: AFP/Rudaw

According to a report on Tuesday from the Kurdish newspaper Rudaw, “Barzani emphasized that the KRG was always ready for talks and dialogue with Baghdad. He described the recent Erbil-Baghdad talks as positive and to further developments in Erbil-Baghdad relations, Barzani found it the necessary role of each side.”

 

 

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