Sep 22, 2019

Trump heads to UN General Assembly against backdrop of global crises

President Trump. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

President Trump will join 192 other world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York City this week for 5 days of speeches and hundreds of meetings — all coming against the backdrop of a string of international crises.

Why it matters: From the China trade war to growing tensions with Iran, the president is facing down multiple global hotspots and a number of unresolved foreign policy deals as he heads to the world’s most prominent diplomatic stage. The self-described "dealmaker" has thus far failed to de-escalate tensions with Iran, North Korea, China, the Taliban, and Israel and Palestine.

Where it stands
  • Iran: Tensions with Iran risk boiling over after the Trump administration announced it is deploying U.S. forces to the Gulf region following an attack against oil processing in Saudi Arabia. Iran has called on the U.S. and its allies to leave the Persian Gulf and has ruled out a meeting between Trump and President Hassan Rouahani at the UN General Assembly.
  • North Korea: U.S. and North Korean nuclear talks have been stalled for months since the summit in Hanoi in February, with dictator Kim Jong-un returning now to near-weekly ballistic missile tests. Trump has been unable to negotiate Kim away from his nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief, but has continued to tout their personal chemistry.
  • China trade war: Though U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators have resumed face-to-face meetings to plan for higher-level talks in October, the possibility of U.S. tariff escalation still clouds trade talks between the 2 countries — threatening a global economic slowdown. Both sides, however, have recently taken steps to reduce tensions by exempting goods from tariffs or delaying tariff increases.
  • Afghanistan peace talks: The longest war in U.S. history remains unresolved after the president cut off nearly a year of U.S. peace talks with the Taliban.
  • Israel and Palestine: The administration's long-awaited peace plan for Israel and Palestine was scheduled to be revealed after the Israeli elections. However, with the failure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to secure a majority, the future of the peace plan is now in doubt. Since Trump came to office in 2017, the White House has had nearly no contact with Benny Gantz, the opposition leader who may form the next Israeli government.

Go deeper: Axios' special report on the greatest global threats we face

Go deeper

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN on the president's quasi-offer: "Thank you but no thank you," and accused Trump of "calling out the American military for a photo opportunity."

41 mins ago - World

The world watches America burn

Newspaper front pages via the Newseum

The world is watching the grief and anger, violence and pain in America's streets.

The big picture: The U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the world's deaths from COVID-19. The killing of a black man, George Floyd, by police has sparked days of protest and nights of chaos in America's major cities.

Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.