At White House, Britain PM Theresa May says Trump backs Nato | world-news | Hindustan Times
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At White House, Britain PM Theresa May says Trump backs Nato

Britain Prime Minister Theresa May said at a joint White House press conference with Donald Trump that the US President is 100% behind Nato, an agreement the Republican leader has often been critical of during his election campaign.

world Updated: Jan 28, 2017 18:20 IST
Yashwant Raj
US President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the White House Oval Office in Washington.
US President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the White House Oval Office in Washington.(Reuters Photo)

Britain Prime Minister Theresa May said at a joint White House press conference with Donald Trump that the US President is 100% behind Nato, an agreement the Republican leader had often been critical of during his election campaign.

Trump did not dispute May, allowing himself to be put on the record about the issue, and his apparent support for Nato is being touted as “May-effect”.

Trump on Friday pledged America’s “lasting support” to the US’ historic “special relationship” with Britain after he emerged from his first meeting with the British Prime Minister, leader of an ally who seeks to nudge the populist President toward the political mainstream.

May, who said the meeting gave the two a chance to build a relationship, announced that Trump had accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II for a state visit later this year with his wife, first lady Melania Trump.

In his first-ever joint news conference with a world leader, Trump chose his words carefully as he addressed a wide range of topics such as Mexico and his upcoming call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Trump is expected to speak to Putin on Saturday, with experts saying the issue of US sanctions could come up. The US President has refused to preview the conversation, but said that he would like to have a great relationship with every country, including Russia and China.

Read | White House misspells British PM’s name, confuses it with a porn star: Report

The British PM, however, has registered her nation’s opposition to the lifting of sanctions against Russia, in light of Trump’s cosy relationship with Putin.

Torture for interrogation

At the press conference, Trump said he will defer to members of his team, defence secretary James Mattis, over the use of torture as an interrogation technique. Trump had on Thursday said in an interview that he supports the use of waterboarding for interrogation. Mattis is reportedly opposed to the use of torture.

Phone call with Nieto

In response to a question during the press conference, Trump talked about an hour-long phone conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier on Friday. While Trump did not specifically mention the issue of the wall he has ordered to be constructed along the Mexican border, he said: “The border is soft and weak, drugs are pouring in, and I’m not going to let that happen.”

“We’re going to be working on a fair relationship and a new relationship,” Trump added.

“I have great respect for Mexico. I love the Mexican people,” the US President said, but “as you know” they have “beaten us to a pulp”.

Read | Theresa May says she is not afraid to challenge Donald Trump

(With inputs from agencies)