Rome: Donald Trump will attend a G7 summit in Italy this May, the White House said Saturday, in what could be his first visit to the continent as US president.
After a call with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the White House said Trump would attend the meeting of seven leading industrialized economies in Taormina, Sicily. Trump’s election has caused fissures in the trans-Atlantic relationship that have not been seen since George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
Many European capitals are concerned about Trump’s apparent backing for nationalist and populist movements on the continent and fear being wedged between a hostile United States and a hostile Russia. Trump has done little the ease those fears, meeting figures who oppose the European Union and questioning NATO’s relevance. For 75 years, the trans-Atlantic alliance has underpinned global security.
During the call, the White House said Trump “reiterated the US commitment to NATO and emphasized the importance of all NATO allies sharing the monetary burden of defense spending.” Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit a security conference in Munich and Brussels — home of the EU and NATO — later this month, in a bid to clear the air.