Administration

Trump won't attend UN General Assembly in person, Meadows says

President Trump will not attend next week's United Nations General Assembly in person, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Thursday.

Meadows told reporters en route to a Trump campaign rally in Wisconsin that Trump will not be in New York City for the annual gathering of world leaders. The event has been altered this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Leaders will meet virtually, and many have submitted taped addresses.

But Trump had yet to submit his own speech, raising the possibility that he may speak in person Sept. 22.

Climate change is likely to be a major theme during next week's General Assembly, but Trump has traditionally used his remarks to world leaders to call into question the value of global institutions like the United Nations and tout the value of nationalism.

This year's gathering comes on the heels of the signing of peace accords between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Israel. The normalization of relations between the two Arab nations with Israel marked a significant step in Trump's foreign policy agenda.

The administration's hardline stance toward Iran is also likely to be a key issue at next month's virtual meetings.

The U.S. last month called on the United Nations to reimpose international sanctions on Iran. The Trump administration has been at odds with other U.N. members over relations with Iran, withdrawing from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal despite allies attempting to keep the pact together. 

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