Trump to host Abe at White House; discuss bilateral issues

On his first visit to the US after Donald Trump became the President, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is likely to discuss bilateral issues.

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Washington, Feb 10: US President Donald Trump is set to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House during which the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral co-operation, regional security and economic issues.

Abe, who will meet Trump on Friday, is in fact only the second world leader to have a meeting with Trump at the Oval Office after the latter was sworn in as the 45th President of the US on January 20.

Trump Abe

Senior administration officials said in the first few weeks the US President has placed importance on its alliances in the Asia Pacific, which in his view are central to American security and prosperity.

"At the end of the day, America is great because of our alliances, and the US recognises that we have tremendous interests across the region. The President has already spoken to several of his counterparts across the region, including Japan and Korea, Australia and New Zealand," a senior administration official told reporters.

Following Oval Office meeting, the two leaders would address a joint news conference. Thereafter Trump would host Abe for a working lunch at the White House. The two leaders would then fly to Trump's residence in Mar-a-Lago for the weekend stay.

The President and the First Lady Melania would host Abe and Mrs Abe for dinner at Mar-a-Lago. On Saturday, the two leaders are expected to play golf together. "They've had already a number of conversations, and I think that that really makes clear the importance that the President is placing on that relationship and on the US role in the Asia Pacific region," the official said.

Requesting anonymity, the official said the Trump and Abe are going to have a conversation that's going to cover a very wide range of subjects dealing with the bilateral relationship, the security piece of the relationship, as well as the economic, and also talking about matters of mutual interest regionally and globally as well.

"The US and Japan represent together 30 per cent of the world's GDP. We share an interest in sustaining a strong global economy, ensuring financial stability, and ensuring job growth in both countries. And Prime Minister Abe is well acquainted with President Trump's priorities, which you could sum up in three words -- jobs, jobs, jobs -- when it comes to the economic relationship," the official said.

The two leaders are likely to reaffirm their interest in seeing a free and rules-based trading order in the region. According to the official, Trump has made pretty clear that he believes that bilateral agreements are really the way to go for the US.

"It's really a first summit since they've come into office, so they're going to be talking on a pretty wide range of subjects and certainly touching on possible paths forward with relation to the overall economic relationship," the official said.

PTI

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