Trump, British security advisers to meet
President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser is planning to meet with his British counterpart within the next month, amid anxiety in some corners about the relationship between the two stalwart allies.
Trump and United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May agreed on the meeting during a phone call Tuesday morning that was meant to help establish “a regular dialogue” between the two.
“They discussed how the president-elect’s transition plans were progressing and agreed that their teams should continue to build close relationships through this period, including with a meeting of their national security advisers in the United States before Christmas,” a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said in a statement.
The two also agreed on “the importance” of NATO, the spokesperson added, as well as “the need for more NATO members to meet the target of spending 2 percent of GDP and the role that NATO can play in addressing diverse threats.”
The call comes at a critical moment for the U.S. and Britain, where security and diplomatic officials have grown anxious about Trump’s foreign policy and his embrace of Nigel Farage, the interim head of the anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party who led the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.
Trump met with Farage in Trump Tower before meeting with any other foreign leaders and took the extraordinary step of publicly suggesting that Farage be named British ambassador to the U.S. May’s government was forced into the uncomfortable position of denying Trump’s request.
Trump has also expressed intense skepticism of NATO and suggested that the U.S. might not honor pledges to come to the aid of member nations under assault from an outside power such as Russia.
Other countries need to invest more money in their own defense without relying on the U.S., Trump has claimed as part of his “America first” ideology.
The meeting between Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and British national security advisor Mark Lyall Grant will be an opportunity for the two sides to begin work on resolving some of those budding issues and discuss their plans for the future.