U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is making his first visit to Europe since taking office, to reassure allies the United States remains a staunch friend amid concerns about the new administration’s “America First” strategy and its overall approach to global affairs.
Pence is scheduled to have dinner with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel Sunday in Brussels.
On Monday, Pence will meet with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, EU Council President Donald Tusk, and other EU officials.
The European Union will likely seek clarity on Trump’s prediction last month in two European newspapers that other countries would follow Britain and leave the alliance.
EU foreign affairs chief Mogherini said after meeting U.S. officials in Washington last week that maintaining multilateral sanctions on Russia, keeping the Iran nuclear agreement in place and addressing the refugee crisis are issues the EU would like to collaborate on with the U.S.
Visit to Dachau concentration camp
Pence, his wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte visited the Dachau concentration camp memorial early Sunday. The camp was established by the Nazi government in 1933 near Munich.
The Pence family paid tribute to the International Memorial at the center of camp, placing a wreath beneath it. They also visited a Jewish memorial and a Catholic memorial on the grounds, toured the barracks, a crematorium, and a gas chamber.
Saturday, at a NATO Security Conference in Munich, Pence expressed support for NATO and sought to address concerns raised by President Trump, who once said that the military alliance was “obsolete.”
“The United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in our commitment to our transatlantic alliance,” Pence said in his first major foreign policy address for the new administration.
Pence acknowledged his extremely busy schedule during a surprise meeting in Munich Saturday with Rock band U2 frontman Bono. After Pence thanked Bono for “the chance to get together,” Bono said, “You’re the second busiest man on earth, so we really do appreciate it,” as onlookers laughed.