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British ex-prime minister pushes for US military support to Ukraine amid talks with Trump

British ex-prime minister pushes for US military support to Ukraine amid talks with Trump
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 9, 2024 10:03 PM

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron urges U.S. Republicans to approve billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, following direct appeal to former US President Donald Trump

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron urged U.S. Republicans Tuesday to greenlight billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine during a direct appeal to former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Cameron, the former Conservative prime minister, held discussions with Trump on Monday during a dinner at the ex-president’s Florida estate before proceeding to Washington.

In a joint appearance the following day with Antony Blinken, the top diplomat for President Joe Biden, Cameron revealed little about his conversation with Trump but disclosed that topics included the future of NATO, a Western alliance that Trump has frequently criticized as inequitable to the United States.

During his visit to Washington, Cameron plans to meet with lawmakers, advocating for the Republican-led House of Representatives to advance Biden’s request for approximately $60 billion in new aid to Ukraine.

“I come here with no intention to lecture anybody, or tell anybody what to do or get in the way of the process of politics,” Cameron stated. “I just come here as a great friend and believer in this country and a believer that it’s profoundly in your interest to release this money.”

Cameron underscored the global significance of the decision, asserting, “There will be people in Tehran, in Pyongyang, in Beijing, looking at how we stand by our allies, how we help them, how we stop this illegal and unprovoked aggression, and working out whether we are committed.”

Blinken emphasized the urgency of action from the House of Representatives now that it has resumed its sessions.

Cameron’s decision to engage with Trump, whom he previously criticized for his “protectionist, xenophobic, misogynistic” style, was defended as “entirely proper.” Cameron referenced the historical precedence of U.S. and British leaders holding discussions with political candidates.

While out of office, Trump has primarily engaged with illiberal foreign leaders, most recently hosting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Florida last month.

The Trump campaign confirmed that discussions between Trump and Cameron encompassed various issues, including upcoming elections in both countries, Brexit-related policies, NATO defense spending obligations, and the conflict in Ukraine.

Trump’s skepticism towards aid to Ukraine and his attempts to link the debate with immigration policies stand in contrast to Biden’s commitment to supporting Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has rejected proposals to cede territory to Russia in any potential peace agreement, including Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

As Russia intensifies its attacks more than two years into the conflict, Ukraine has raised concerns about potential territorial losses and has resorted to rationing ammunition.

The aid package for Ukraine, already approved by the Senate controlled by Biden’s Democratic Party, awaits action in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Mike Johnson faces challenges due to his slim Republican majority and opposition from far-right lawmakers.

In a move to pressure Johnson, Mike Pompeo, Blinken’s predecessor under Trump, co-authored a letter endorsing the approval of aid to Ukraine, highlighting the country’s struggle against a belligerent Russia.

“Ukraine is fighting for its survival against an expansionist Russia that despises and contests the West,” read the letter by Pompeo and John Walters, president and CEO of the conservative Hudson Institute. “Without a single US or NATO soldier firing a shot, Ukraine has caused Russia to suffer losses of manpower and equipment it has not seen since World War II.”

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:36 PM