David Cameron meets Donald Trump as he tries to unblock Ukraine aid package

British Foreign Secretary will also discuss the Gaza crisis and the 'unacceptable' deaths of World Kitchen aid workers

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron met with Donald Trump as he visited the US in a bid to unblock a multi-billion dollar aid package for Kyiv. AFP
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British Foreign Secretary David Cameron met with former president Donald Trump in an attempt to drum up support for Ukraine.

Lord Cameron is also expected to meet Republican politicians as he attempts to unblock a multibillion dollar package of aid for Kyiv that has been stalled in Congress for months.

The meeting took place at Mr Trump's residence in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, before Lord Cameron heads to Washington.

“Ahead of his visit to Washington, the Foreign Secretary met former president Trump in Florida,” said a UK Foreign Office spokesman on Tuesday.

“It is standard practice for ministers to meet opposition candidates as part of their routine international engagement,” he said.

Mr Trump, who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been critical of the US's ongoing support for Ukraine and is expected to drastically cut military aid if he wins the election later this year.

Gaza war

Lord Cameron will also meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discuss the situation in Gaza, including the deaths of seven World Kitchen aid workers, three of whom were British citizens.

He will call the deaths “completely unacceptable” and will also call for “major changes” in the way Israel conducts the war in Gaza.

The Foreign Secretary will also continue to push for a “full, urgent and transparent” investigation into the deaths of the aid workers.

Although Downing Street has insisted the government is “completely united” in its stance towards Israel, Lord Cameron is widely seen as having taken a more strident approach towards criticism of the country.

The Foreign Secretary is expected to use the trip to underscore the need “to ensure the safety of aid workers on the ground”.

The UK and US “have been clear in Israel’s right to self-defence in accordance with international law”, the Foreign Office said.

The UK government has come under pressure to suspend arms export licences to Israel following the deaths of the aid workers.

More than 600 lawyers, including former Supreme Court judges, warned that London risked breaching international law by continuing to allow the export of weapons to Israel.

UK Foreign Secretary calls for sustainable future in region, without militias

UK Foreign Secretary calls for sustainable future in region, without militias

Unblocking Kyiv aid

During the trip to the US, Lord Cameron will urge politicians to approve a stalled package of aid for Ukraine which he says is “vital” for US and European security.

Lord Cameron will push for Ukraine to be given the resources needed to “hold the line” and “go on the offensive” next year.

He will urge politicians to “change the narrative” on support for Kyiv while the multibillion-dollar deal remains held up on Capitol Hill.

On his latest visit, Lord Cameron will meet figures across Congress to call for them to provide the extra $60 billion (£47.5 billion), the Foreign Office said.

He will say that nothing can match the pace and scale of US support, which remains “the keystone in the arch” in the fight for democracy, the department said.

The Foreign Secretary was expected to tell Mike Johnson, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, to stop his colleagues from continuing to block the support amid opposition from hardliners aligned withMr Trump.

It is the latest of several interventions made by Lord Cameron over additional funding for Ukraine.

Earlier this year, he warned Congress not to show “the weakness displayed against Hitler” in the 1930s in his comments which drew ire from some Republican lawmakers.

Ukraine-Russia conflict latest – in picture

“Success for Ukraine and failure for Putin are vital for American and European security,” the Foreign Secretary said on Monday.

“This will show that borders matter, that aggression doesn’t pay and that countries like Ukraine are free to choose their own future.

“The alternative would only encourage Putin in further attempts to re-draw European borders by force and would be heard clearly in Beijing, Tehran and North Korea.

“US support for Ukraine has massively degraded the military capacity of a common adversary, Russia has lost half of its pre-invasion land combat power, and a quarter of its original Black Sea fleet, while creating jobs at home and strengthening the Western alliance and Nato.”

Over $184 billion (£145 billion) has already been committed to Ukraine by European nations, including over $15 billion from Britain.

The US has committed about $74 billion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned on Sunday that Ukraine will lose its war with Russia if Congress does not approve the deal.

Updated: April 09, 2024, 10:36 AM