Trump’s Europe Visit Includes Britain, Ireland, France

Posted: June 2, 2019, 6:00 am

Trump's Europe Visit Includes Britain, Ireland, France FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at the Japanese destroyer JS Kaga, in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. WHITE HOUSE — U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will be on a state visit to the Britain June 3 to June 5.
What to know for the visit?
It’s not Trump's first visit to Britain.
What’s so special this time?
Trump was in Britain in July 2018 on a working visit, which involved much less pomp and pageantry than a state visit. On a working visit, the visiting country and not the host country covers the bill.
A state visit is a formal visit by a head of state and is normally done at the invitation of the queen on the advice of her government. Queen Elizabeth II, as the current head of state, will act as Trump’s official host for the duration of the visit.
An invitation for a state visit was extended soon after Trump took office in 2017, but a number of concerns, i..

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Pompeo Seeks Common Ground on Iran, Huawei in Europe

Posted: June 1, 2019, 1:40 am

On a trip to Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Britain, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seeking common ground with European allies, despite fundamental differences over the United States' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and doing business with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. VOA's Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine has more from Washington, as talks between Pompeo and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped Friday.

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US Secretary of State Discusses Iran with German Officials

Posted: May 31, 2019, 8:20 am

US Secretary of State Discusses Iran with German Officials U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, address the media during a joint statement prior to a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2019. In his first visit to Germany as the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo is meeting Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Earlier, speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas after their meeting, Pompeo said that Washington would not stand in the way of INSTEX, a system Europeans are developing to protect companies from American sanctions if they deal with Iran.
The system is intended to process payment regarding legal businesses, from medicines to aid services and other goods, which are permitted under sanctions regimen.
INSTEX is not yet up and running, but Europeans hope to have it functioning by this summer.
Maas said that even though the U.S. had withdrawn f..

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Pompeo to Make Up Canceled Germany Trip on Europe Tour

Posted: May 24, 2019, 1:58 pm

Pompeo to Make Up Canceled Germany Trip on Europe Tour FILE – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen at the Department of State in Washington, May 9, 2019. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo next week will make up a trip to Germany he canceled earlier this month amid heightened tensions with Iran.
The State Department says Pompeo will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin before heading to additional stops in Europe.
Pompeo abruptly canceled a planned May 7 stop in Germany to make an unexpected visit to Iraq, shortly after the Trump administration announced it was sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf in response to threats from Iran.
After meeting Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the department said Pompeo would travel on to Switzerland and the Netherlands before joining President Donald Trump on his state visit to Britain in London. Pompeo leaves Washington on Thursday.

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US, Russia Agree to Talk Again, Meet in Sochi

Posted: May 14, 2019, 2:53 pm

US, Russia Agree to Talk Again, Meet in Sochi Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pose for a photo before their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, southern Russia, May 14, 2019. MOSCOW — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to work to normalize strained relations and restore bilateral channels of communication following talks Tuesday at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Although Pompeo and Lavrov discussed a wide range of bilateral and international problems, including the situations in Iran, North Korea, Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, there were no major breakthroughs on any of those issues.
It is Pompeo’s first visit to Russia as secretary of state. After his meeting with Lavrov the American diplomat met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meets with U.S. Secretary of State at the Bocharov Ruchei re..

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US Recalls Ukraine Ambassador; Democrats Cry ‘Hit Job’

Posted: May 7, 2019, 3:15 pm

US Recalls Ukraine Ambassador; Democrats Cry 'Hit Job' U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch attends a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2019. Yovanovitch directed scathing criticism at the Ukrainian government, urging authorities to replace a senior anti-corruption official. WASHINGTON — The U.S. has recalled career diplomat Marie (Masha) Yovanovitch from her post as ambassador to Ukraine, timing the State Department says was aligned with the coming presidential transition in Kyiv.
But two key Democratic lawmakers claim the move was “a political hit job” with roots in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The State Department said the 60-year-old Yovanovitch, appointed by former President Barack Obama, is completing her three-year tenure in Ukraine “as planned,” although her term actually extended to Aug. 20.
The State Department said her return coincides with the planned June inauguration of comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy as..

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China, Climate, Russia to Dominate Pompeo Europe Tour

Posted: May 5, 2019, 7:15 pm

China, Climate, Russia to Dominate Pompeo Europe Tour FILE – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference, April 22, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is energizing its campaign to counter China's growing global influence as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Europe this week on a four-nation trip that will also highlight disputes with Russia over Venezuela and elsewhere as well as deep U.S. isolation on the cause and impact of climate change.
With China seeking a greater presence throughout the continent, U.S. officials said Pompeo will renew warnings over the use of advanced Chinese telecommunications technology as well as blunt Beijing's aspirations to play a significant role in the Arctic, a region that is rapidly opening up to development and commerce as temperatures warm and sea ice melts. He departs on Sunday just hours after President Donald Trump threatened to boost tariffs on Chinese imports ..

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NYT: Potential Russian Meddling in 2020 US Election Sensitive Issue for Trump

Posted: April 24, 2019, 2:17 pm

NYT: Potential Russian Meddling in 2020 US Election Sensitive Issue for Trump FILE – Voting booths are seen in New York primary elections at a polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, April 19, 2016. WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia engaged in “sweeping and systematic” interference in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump become president, but a new account says the issue is still too sensitive to discuss in front of Trump as it relates to what Moscow might do when he runs for re-election in 2020.
Former Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen tried to focus the attention of top U.S. officials on combating Russian influence in next year's election in the months before Trump forced her to resign in early April after protracted conflict over immigration policies, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
But the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior Trump administration official as saying that acting White House chief of staff Mic..

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After Mueller Report Details Kremlin Election Interference, Blanket Denials from Moscow

Posted: April 23, 2019, 11:34 am

Russian officials continue denying Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, brushing aside hundreds of pages of evidence in the Mueller report by saying the document contained no proof. Experts in Moscow told VOA’s Igor Tsikhanenka they don’t believe the Russian government will ever acknowledge any wrongdoing, nor do they think the Kremlin and the White House will be able to establish rapprochement in the near future

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Mueller Report Draws Blanket Denials From Moscow 

Posted: April 19, 2019, 5:58 pm

Mueller Report Draws Blanket Denials From Moscow FILE – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, March 26, 2018. MOSCOW — Russian officials Friday continued to deny that Moscow tried to influence the 2016 U.S. election, brushing aside hundreds of pages of evidence released in special counsel Robert Muller's report by saying it contained no proof.
“We still do not accept accusations of that sort,” Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters in a conference call. He said Russia has insisted from the very beginning of the two-year probe that “whatever investigators did, they would find no [Russian] meddling, because there was no meddling.”
In the United States, there is consensus among the nation's intelligence community, and details published in the Mueller report, on how Moscow used a variety of tactics and people to try to influence Americans' political opinions, hurt political ..

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