GREAT FOR BOTH: US president says talks with UK will lead to tremendous rise in trade –
DAVOS: US President Donald Trump boasted of a “really great relationship” with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, as the pair traded compliments and tried to turn the page after very public spats.
“We’re on the same wavelength in, I think, every respect,” Trump said during a meeting in neutral Switzerland, waxing lyrical about trans-Atlantic ties and complimenting May in effusive terms.
“The prime minister and myself have had a really great relationship,” he added. “Although some people don’t necessarily believe that, but I can tell you, I have a tremendous respect for the prime minister and the job she’s doing.”
May echoed the gushing tone. “It’s been great to see you,” she said, “as you said, we had a great discussion today.
We continue to have a great relationship between the UK and the United States.”
But the warm words in the cool of the Alpine town of Davos come just weeks after Trump publicly upbraided his British counterpart and was forced to cancel a much-anticipated trip to London.
Trump had been expected to travel to the British capital earlier this month for the grand opening of a new, state-of-the-art US embassy.
But logistics and Trump’s shock retweeting of propaganda from a British far-right group threw sand in the gears.
It is now more than a year since Trump received and accepted an invitation for a prestigious state visit to Britain that would include a red-carpet welcome from Queen Elizabeth II.
But he has infuriated British authorities with his tweets on terrorism in Britain, including highly publicised run-ins with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a vocal critic of Trump.
All that has prompted questions about the health of the “special relationship,” which had already been in doubt because of an increasingly close working relationship between Washington and Berlin and by Britain’s reduced influence after its vote to exit the European Union.
Despite Trump’s affinity for Brexit and cool relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he has clashed repeatedly with May.
After the PM said it was “wrong” for the US president to promote “hateful narratives,” Trump shot back that May should focus on her doing her job.
“@theresa_may, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive radical terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!” he tweeted, using the wrong Twitter handle for the prime minister.
Meanwhile, much-vaunted efforts to reach a bilateral trade deal are on hold until Britain actually leaves the EU.
Trump said the deal would be good for both countries and lead to “tremendous increases in trade between our two countries, which is great for both in terms of jobs.”
“We look forward to that, and we are starting that process pretty much as we speak,” Trump claimed. — Reuters