Donald Trump hoping for friendlier European welcome in Poland

Donald Trump is heading back to Europe hoping to receive a friendly welcome in Poland despite lingering scepticism across the continent over his presidency.

Doubts remain in Europe over his commitment to Nato, his past praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his decision to pull the US out of a major climate agreement.

Mr Trump is arriving in Warsaw for a brief visit that will include a speech in Krasinski Square, near the site of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis.

He will meet the leaders of Poland and Croatia and hold a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Before moving on to an international summit in Germany, the president will also hold meetings with the leaders of a dozen countries located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas at a summit of the Three Seas Initiative, which aims to expand and modernise energy and trade.

One of the initiative's goals is to make the region less dependent on Russian energy.

"Even if he doesn't mention Putin or Russia outright, just stepping foot in Poland sends a powerful statement," said Jim Carafano, a foreign policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"Europe is working for energy independence - looking for free market solutions - and Poland is in the middle of that energy corridor, so it makes so much sense that the president would go there and talk about energy policy."

Mr Trump will have to balance his visit to Europe with escalating tensions with North Korea, after the US concluded that Pyongyang had test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The US, South Korea and Japan responded to the provocation by requesting an emergency session of the UN Security Council.

Mr Trump returns to Europe after a shaky first trip in May and signs of unhappiness around the globe with the start of his presidency.

A recent Pew Research Centre survey of attitudes towards Mr Trump in more than three dozen countries found fewer than three in 10 respondents expressed confidence in his ability to do the right thing on international affairs.

His first trip to Europe as president saw a series of awkward encounters, including a tough speech to the leaders of Nato countries urging them to spend more on their armed forces, an uncomfortable handshake with France's new president, and a caught-on-camera moment when he pushed past the prime minister of Montenegro, Europe's newest country, while squeezing his way to the front of a crowd.

AP


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