US vice-president to visit Brussels for talks

Summary

Mike Pence will travel to Belgium to meet government and Nato representatives, with the aim of strengthening transatlantic ties

First official visit

The American vice-president Mike Pence will visit Brussels on 20 February, the White House has confirmed. Pence (pictured) will first visit Munich, where he will take part in an international security conference. From there he will travel to Belgium to meet representatives of the federal government, the European Union and Nato, in talks aimed at strengthening transatlantic ties.

Pence’s visit is also likely aimed at calming concerns in Europe about remarks made by Donald Trump during the election campaign last year about the US withdrawing funding from Nato. Trump’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin is also cause for concern.

This will be the Trump administration's first official visit to Belgium. Trump, meanwhile, has accepted an invitation to visit the UK later in the year, leading to protests and a petition calling for the invitation to be rescinded.

The US president is also be expected to attend a Nato summit in May in Brussels, but that may not take place if the new headquarters of the organisation are not ready in time.

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia