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Cameron meets Trump, to urge US Congress to approve Ukraine military aid

In News, World
April 09, 2024

Top British diplomat says success for Ukraine is vital for the security of the United States and Europe.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron will urge the United States Congress to pass an aid package for Ukraine after he met Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Cameron is to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, DC, later on Tuesday to also discuss Israel’s war on Gaza.

Cameron said he would also meet Speaker Mike Johnson, the top Republican in the US House of Representatives, and urge him to pass a $60bn package of military aid for Ukraine, which has been held up for months in the chamber.

“Success for Ukraine and failure for Putin are vital for American and European security,” Cameron said in a statement, saying it was important to demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “aggression doesn’t pay”.

“The alternative would only encourage Putin in further attempts to redraw European borders by force, and would be heard clearly in Beijing, Tehran and North Korea,” added Cameron, who was British prime minister from 2010 to 2016.

He is scheduled to meet congressional leaders from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

The UK Foreign Office said in a statement that Cameron met Trump in Florida before his visit to the US capital, describing it as “standard practice” for ministers to meet with an opposition candidate.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his country would lose its war against Russia if the US Congress does not approve the stalled package.

Britain has been a staunch ally of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in 2022, but Cameron will stress it is the US that is the “key stone in the arch” because its pace and scale of support for Ukraine is unmatched.

Trump remains a highly influential figure in the Republican Party and could play a role in persuading hardliners in the Republic-controlled House to unblock the assistance package for Ukraine.

During the trip, Cameron will also emphasise the importance of increasing economic pressure on Russia and giving Ukraine “the military and humanitarian support it needs to hold the line this year and go on the offensive in 2025”, the Foreign Office added.

More than $184bn has already been committed to Ukraine by European nations, including more than $15bn from the United Kingdom.

Cameron is also expected to discuss maritime routes for aid into Gaza and push for a full and transparent investigation into the “completely unacceptable” deaths there of seven aid workers, including three Britons, from the US-based food charity World Central Kitchen.

Since the deadly strike last week, the UK government has faced calls to suspend arms exports to Israel.

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