US President Donald Trump has repeated calls to withdraw American troops from war-ravaged Syria, further announcing a military protection of the border with Mexico.
During a joint White House press conference with the leaders of the Baltic States on Tuesday, the president said he would have a meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis “in a little while” about sending US troops to the border with Mexico “until we have the wall.”
He further stated that that he is interested in withdrawal of the US army forces from Syria.
A US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be terrorist targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
Trump also slammed “caravans” of people coming through the border with Mexico, further blasting the southern neighbor over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The Republican president has vowed to crack down on immigration, in part by building a wall on the Mexican order, but has failed to get his complete agenda through so far.
‘Nobody’s been tougher on Russia’
But to Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid, Latvia’s President Raimonds Vejonis and Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite, what mattered the most was Trump’s ties with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
“Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said. “Now maybe we will and maybe we won’t. Probably nobody’s been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump. If you take a look at our military strength now, which probably wouldn’t have happened if the opponent had won … We’re now exporting oil and gas. This is not something that Russia wanted.”
He further asserted that “just about everyone agrees” establishing good ties with Moscow is beneficial “except very stupid people.”
“I’ll let you know… There will be a time when I’ll let you know. You’re going to find out very quickly,” he told a reported asking whether Putin is a friend or a foe.
Trump has invited Putin to the White House despite escalation of tensions between Moscow and the West.
Some experts believe that Trump is ill-prepared for the outcome of the way he is forging foreign policy.
According to Adam Garrie, a political and activist based in London, the president wants to “create a kind of diplomatic storm around him, the resolution of which, I don’t even think he is prepared to address.”
The two world leaders have already met twice, in Germany and Vietnam, and “neither of those has led to any meaningful de-escalation in the US-Russian election,” he stated in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said last month that the Putin-Trump meeting would focus on strengthening ties between the four countries.
“The visit will also highlight the Baltic states’ achievements since their independence, including their economic growth, recent success in meeting NATO’s defense and spending pledges,” he said.