Trump arrived for his first ever talks with EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, who will argue for the benefits of open trade and the Paris climate agreement.
The meeting took place at the EU’s new “Europa” headquarters in Brussels on the same day Trump attends a NATO summit, also in the Belgian capital.
Trump is also meeting with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini.
The visit with Tusk and Juncker is a victory of sorts for the EU, which had worked behind the scenes to secure a first encounter with Trump. Tusk, who coordinates common policy for the EU’s 28 leaders, had until now only held a congratulatory phone call with the US president in November.
“At that time the questions were on Brexit,” and on the survival of the EU, a senior European official said on condition of anonymity. But since election victories by pro- EU candidates in France and the Netherlands “we are in a completely different place,” the official added.
In the heat of the US election campaign last year, Trump rankled European leaders by predicting that other countries “will leave” the EU after Britain voted to do so in June. (AP)