What to expect from President Trump at the UN General Assembly

Trump returns to the U.N. General Assembly the kind of multilateral group he disdains. But he loves the stage

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens during a UN Security Council meeting, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, April 14, 2018. Depending on the agenda that Trump sets for the security council meeting, Iran's president may be in the room. "I think it will", as reported by The Hill.

Trump's "America First" foreign policy has reshaped many relationships across the globe, including some of the U.S.'s decades-old alliances.

"All of these things that we felt like were mandating things on the United States, those aren't things we want to be involved in", she said, citing the Paris climate agreement Trump pulled out of in 2017 and global talks on a migration pact that Washington quit before they started.

Since Day 1, Trump has taken a more confrontational approach with Iran than his predecessor, the capstone of which was pulling out of a deal Barack Obama championed to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting financial sanctions.

Next week at the U.N., Trump plans to stay on message, touting his drive to protect USA sovereignty before world leaders, some of them anxious about America's commitment to the multilateralism that has governed the United Nations since the end of World War II. This will be the third time the body is chaired by a USA president.

But this week, all eyes will be on President Trump. Iran's backing of Shia groups with a propensity for violence - from Lebanon to Syria to Yemen - is destabilizing the Middle East, Trump argues, and must be stopped.

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There has been uncertainty in Tehran over who should represent Iran at the session to be chaired by Trump, with some internal sources suggesting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend. "With recent pressure [by] enemies", Rouhani said, "we appreciate our missiles more than ever".

"I repeat it once again that the Islamic Republic of Iran has never requested a meeting with Donald Trump", he further stressed.

Joining the president in NY for his visit will be several other high-ranking members of his administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump. It raises the prospect of an encounter, chance or otherwise, between Trump and Rouhani.

The topic of the meeting will be non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, a broad issue that allows leaders around the horse-shoe table to raise a variety of subjects from North Korea to chemical weapons attacks in Syria and Britain. One week after his historic summit with Kim Jong Un in North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with Trump and share a personal message from Kim.

Moon will be pushing Trump to sign a declaration to officially end the Korean War, something the US has said it will not do until North Korea takes steps to denuclearize.


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