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May 30, 2017

*-- Trump talks counter-terrorism with EU, NATO leaders --*

U.S. President Donald Trump met with top European Union officials on Thursday to establish formal relations and to attempt to clarify positions on certain issues.

While some issues such as counter-terrorism were agreed upon, others remain uncertain. Following a meeting with Trump, European Council President Donald Tusk said the leaders "discussed foreign policy, security, climate and trade relations."

"My feeling is that we agreed on many areas. First and foremost, on counter-terrorism, and I am sure that I do not have to explain why. But some issues remain open, like climate and trade," Tusk told reporters.

Tusk said he is not "100 percent sure" that he and Trump "have a common opinion about Russia" but said they share the same beliefs about the conflict in Ukraine.

"My main message to President Trump was that what gives our cooperation and friendship its deepest meaning are fundamental Western values, like freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity," Tusk said. "The greatest task today is the consolidation of the whole free world around those values, and not just interests."
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Trump also met with recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Brussels as part of a working luncheon.

.@POTUS meets with #France's President @EmmanuelMacron at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Brussels.#POTUSAbroad pic.twitter.com/moxBCcUd0A- Department of State (@StateDept) May 25, 2017

"It is my great honor to be with the newly elected president of France, who ran an incredible campaign and had a tremendous victory," Trump said. "We have a lot to discuss including terrorism and other things."

Trump is also attending a working dinner with all 28 leaders of NATO countries after participating in a ceremony inaugurating the new NATO headquarters.

"Looking forward to welcoming allies to discuss burden sharing and fight against terrorism at NATO meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. "We are making NATO stronger."

NATO members will likely decide whether the alliance will formally enter the fight against the Islamic State as a full member of the international coalition. Trump has previously criticized NATO, stating NATO members must "pay their fair share" -- citing the NATO member commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense that not all countries have met.

Following the meeting with NATO leaders, Trump and first lady Melania Trump will leave Brussels for Taormina, Italy, to attend a G7 summit.

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