U.S. President Donald Trump will hold telephone conversations with a slate of world leaders Saturday, starting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first foreign leader to meet with Trump after his election.
Their phone call comes just days after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that included the U.S., Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries and accounted for 40 percent of the world’s economy. Abe is an enthusiastic supporter of TPP as was Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
Merkel, then Putin
Trump is scheduled to speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after Abe.
Last year, Merkel asked her fellow citizens to show compassion to Syrian refugees by allowing them into the country. That has been met with mixed results. On Friday, Trump signed an executive order barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. for an indefinite period of time.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is the third world leader on Trump’s list of telephone calls. It will be their first talk since Trump was sworn in as president. They did, however, talk after Trump’s stunning win of the presidential election. The two leaders have said they would like to normalize relations between their two countries.
U.S. intelligence agencies have allegedly briefed the president on Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election to favor Trump’s chances of winning. Trump rejects the notion he won the election with Russia’s help.
Hollande, Turnbull wrap up day
Trump ends his round of phone calls Saturday holding conversations with French President Francois Hollande, followed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.