UK’s Cameron to Meet Blinken, Trump While Pressing US Congress on Ukraine Aid

REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron walks, at Downing Street in London, Britain, March 13, 2024.

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – British Foreign Minister David Cameron will meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday during his U.S. trip and press lawmakers in Congress to pass an aid package for Ukraine while also discussing the Israel-Gaza war.

Ahead of his meeting with Blinken, Cameron will meet former President Donald Trump in Florida, a spokesperson for the British government’s Foreign Office said, describing it as a “standard practice” engagement with an opposition candidate.

Cameron last week said he would see Republican House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and urge him to pass a $60 billion package of military aid for Ukraine, which he has held up for months.

“Success for Ukraine and failure for Putin are vital for American and European security,” Cameron said in a statement, saying it was important to demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “aggression doesn’t pay.”

“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.”

The foreign ministry said Cameron would meet congressional leaders from both the Republican and Democratic sides.

The Foreign Office spokesperson did not say what Cameron and Trump, the Republican candidate in the November presidential election against incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden, would discuss.

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

Britain has been a staunch ally of Ukraine since Russia invaded in 2022, but Cameron will stress it is the United States that is the “key stone in the arch” as its pace and scale of support for Ukraine is unmatched.

During the trip, Cameron will emphasize the importance of increasing economic pressure on Russia and giving Ukraine “the military and humanitarian support it needs to hold the line this year and go on the offensive in 2025,” the foreign ministry said.

Cameron would also discuss maritime routes for aid into Gaza during the trip, as well as push for a full and transparent investigation into the “completely unacceptable” deaths there of seven aid workers, including three Britons, it added.

Cameron will reiterate Israel’s right to self-defense in accordance with international law after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, but will stress that major changes need to be made to ensure the safety of aid workers on the ground, his office said.