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British and French Foreign Ministers Absent in European Union (EU) Special Talks Over Donald Trump

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the emergency meeting in Brussels after Trump's stunning victory Tuesday

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FILE - Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (R) and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (L) attend a ministerial summit to hold discussion on the future of Mosul city, post-Islamic State, in Paris, France, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA
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Nov 13, 2016: The British and French foreign ministers will not participate in special talks with their European Union counterparts Sunday to discuss how to deal with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the emergency meeting in Brussels after Trump’s stunning victory Tuesday on stated policies that include questioning Washington’s commitment to Europe.

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A British Foreign Office spokesman said Boris Johnson would not go to the meeting Sunday but would attend a regular Foreign Affairs Council meeting Monday.

“We do not see the need for an additional meeting on Sunday because the U.S. election timetable is long established,” the spokesman said. “An act of democracy has taken place, there is a transition period and we will work with the current and future administrations to ensure the best outcomes for Britain.”

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Following his victory, Trump spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May. A Downing 10 Street spokesman said they agreed that the relationship between London and Washington is “very important and very special and that building on this would be a priority for them both.”

Meanwhile, the French news agency AFP is reporting that Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will be “absent for agenda reasons.”

Britain and France will instead be represented by their ambassadors to the EU.

Defense cooperation

Monday, the foreign ministers will discuss plans to boost defense cooperation — a move that Britain had long blocked — including a controversial proposal for a European military headquarters.

In blunt remarks Friday reflecting the shock and concern among some European leaders at the election of Trump, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Trump poses risks for the relationship between the EU and the U.S.

“I believe we’ll have two years of wasted time while Mr. Trump tours a world he doesn’t know,” Juncker said, referring to Trump’s lack of solid foreign policy priorities that has kept much of the world guessing.

During the U.S. election campaign, candidate Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, questioned the principle of collective defense in NATO, and criticized the open border migration policies of some EU nations, among foreign policy issues.

On Wednesday, after Trump’s victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk invited him to an EU-U.S. summit to discuss issues including terrorism and Ukraine. (VOA)

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Trump meets Florida school shooting survivors, suggests arming teachers

The President also called for more mental institutions and hospitals in addition to the idea of arming teachers

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The President also called for more mental institutions and hospitals in addition to the idea of arming teachers.
The President also called for more mental institutions and hospitals in addition to the idea of arming teachers. Wikimedia Commons

US President Donald Trump met survivors and families of the victims that were killed in the Florida school shooting and suggested that teachers and staff members should be provided with arms to avert such massacres, the media reported.

Trump’s comment came during a White House “listening session” on Wednesday which was attended by families and students including six survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old man Nikolas Cruz armed with an assault rifle killed 17 people on February 14, reports CNN.

The event brought Trump face-to-face with students and parents who have demanded action on gun violence.

“If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” he said, stating that schools could arm up to 20 per cent of their teachers to stop “maniacs” who may try and attack them.

Also Read: Is Donald Trump’s presidency turning out to be a reward for Trump Jr.?

“This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone,” Trump said. “Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us’.”

The event brought Trump face-to-face with students and parents who have demanded action on gun violence.
The event brought Trump face-to-face with students and parents who have demanded action on gun violence. Wikimedia Commons

Acknowledging that the idea was controversial, Trump said that his administration would give it serious study.

The President also called for more mental institutions and hospitals in addition to the idea of arming teachers.

Trump’s idea of arming teachers and school staff was met with support from many of the attendees, CNN reported.

Fred Abt, the father of Parkland shooting survivor Carson Abt, said he had discussed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that rather than waiting for first responders to arrive, it would be more efficient to have firearms locked on school campuses.

Also Read: Daughter of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump to celebrate Diwali in a Hindu Temple in the US

“One possible solution, which may not be very popular, would be to have people in the school, teachers, administrators who have volunteered to have a firearm safely locked in the classroom who are given training throughout the year,” he said.

“There are plenty of teachers who are already licensed to carry firearms, have them raise their hands to volunteer for the training, and when something like this starts, the first responders are already on campus.

Andrew Pollack, a father of one of the 17 victims who died in the Florida shooting, said he was speaking because his daughter couldn’t.

“We as a country failed our children…

This shouldn’t happen.”

The President, flanked by the students, went around the room and shook hands before commencing the session.

Also Read: DACA is a Bold Welcome Step by President Trump

Trump also later tweeted he would “always remember” the event, adding “we must keep our children safe”.

“I will always remember the time I spent today with courageous students, teachers and families,” he tweeted, along with a link to the full event.

“So much love in the midst of so much pain. We must not let them down. We must keep our children safe!!” (IANS)