Trump and May to meet for talks in Davos after 'special relationship' tested

Theresa May and Donald Trump will meet for talks at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister and the US President will hold a bilateral meeting on the margins of the Swiss summit due to be attended by leaders including India PM Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

The White House and Downing Street made the announcement just a day after reports Mr Trump would snub the PM at the gathering.

The president's press secretary, Sarah Sanders, tweeted that Mr Trump was looking forward to the meeting that would "further strengthen the US-UK Special Relationship".

Mr Trump celebrates his first full year in office on Saturday and is expected to mark the occasion with a gala dinner, while protests are planned in several cities.

In London a demonstration by Stand Up To Racism is due to be held outside the new US Embassy in Nine Elms, south London.

The new US Embassy opened this month (John Stillwell/PA)
The new US Embassy opened this month (John Stillwell/PA)

Earlier this month Mr Trump scrapped a February visit to the UK when he was expected to open the building.

The president blamed the cost of the new embassy and its location south of the River Thames, saying it was a "bad deal".

His cancellation prompted media speculation that reasons for the snub included that Mr Trump had been offended by perceived slights against him by UK public figures.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of endangering the so-called "special relationship" after he said president had "got the message" from Londoners and would have been met by "mass peaceful protests" if he went ahead with the visit.

The president has endured a turbulent relationship with Mrs May since taking office, with the Prime Minister publicly criticising statements he has made on Muslims, terrorism and climate change.

In November the pair fell out spectacularly over his retweeting of anti-Muslim videos posted online by the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First group, Jayda Fransen.

Their meeting this week will be the first time they have seen each other in person since the row.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with President Trump in the margins of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland next week."

.@POTUS looks forward to having a bilateral meeting with @theresa_may in Davos next week to further strengthen the US-UK Special Relationship.

-- Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 19, 2018

Mr Trump is thought likely to use his appearance to promote his America First strategy at an event associated with the rise of globalisation.

The event takes place at the upmarket ski-resort Davos between January 23 and 26, with business leaders, politicians and representatives from non-government organisations among those attending.

Mr Trump will be the first sitting US president to attend the summit in person since Bill Clinton in 2000.

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