Trump: UN has ‘tremendous potential’ under new leadership

U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (2nd R) and White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (R) delivers remarks to reporters as he welcomes United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (L) for a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on Friday. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 October 2017
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Trump: UN has ‘tremendous potential’ under new leadership

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Friday that the United Nations has “tremendous potential” but has been underutilized in recent years.
Trump praised UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has led the 193-member world organization since January, during an Oval Office meeting. It was their first extended meeting.
The White House said the two leaders “discussed issues of mutual interest,” including North Korea, Syria, Iraq and Myamar.
The president used his UN debut in September to push the UN to cut its bureaucracy and fulfill its mission.
“The United Nations has tremendous potential. It hasn’t been used over the years nearly as it should be,” Trump said at the White House, where he was joined by his UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
The UN, Trump said, has the “power to bring people together, like nothing else,” and he predicted that “things are going to happen with the United Nations that we haven’t seen before.”
Guterres and Trump met briefly at the White House in April and also held talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting last month.
Guterres said he was a “true believer that we live in a messy world, but we need a strong, reformed and modernized UN We need a strong United States engaged, based on its traditional values — freedom, democracy, human rights.”
Trump offered praise for the UN leader, saying “You need talent, and he’s got the talent.” And the president told reporters: “We’ll see what happens. I’ll report back to you in about seven years.”
Trump said in September that the UN hadn’t reached its potential because of “bureaucracy and mismanagement,” and called upon the UN to change “business as usual and not be beholden to ways of the past which were not working.”
He also suggested the US was paying more than its fair share for UN operations.


Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) talks with National Security Adviser John Bolton. (Reuters)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

  • When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
  • The two men decided to have “regular” meetings

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with John Bolton, the new national security adviser to President Donald Trump, at the Pentagon on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.
The breakfast meeting came amid US media reports that Mattis risks being isolated by Trump’s more bellicose coterie of advisers, including Bolton, an Iraq War-era hawk who has advocated for military action in both Iran and North Korea.
Bolton “was here this morning,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.
The two men decided to have “regular” meetings, she added, noting that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to run the State Department, could join them.
When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, is one of a dwindling pool of original Trump picks not to have drawn negative attention from his mercurial boss.
According to multiple reports, after a suspected chemical attack in Syria this month, he successfully pushed Trump to only taking limited action in response, while Bolton wanted a larger operation.
Mattis used to meet regularly with Rex Tillerson, who was fired last month from his position as secretary of state.
Pompeo is seen as being more hawkish than Mattis, further raising the possibility of the Pentagon chief’s influence waning.