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UN chief to meet Trump to discuss UN reform

IANS | United Nations |

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to Washington and meet US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, a UN spokesman announced.

The spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, would not give details of the meeting. “I don’t think it will surprise you if I will tell you that issues of mutual concern will be discussed,” he told a briefing at UN Headquarters on Thursday.

“I have no doubt UN reform will be discussed,” he said, adding that he was not sure whether US payments to the United Nations will be touched upon.

The meeting has been in the offing for quite some time as the two men agreed to meet formally when Guterres dropped by the Oval Office several months ago. “Scheduling this thing is no easy task,” said Dujarric.

With Trump’s election, relations between the United Nations and the White House has not been easy.

The Trump administration has announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, a global compact dear to the United Nations, and from the UN cultural body of UNESCO. Washington has also threatened to pull out of the world body’s Human Rights Council.