Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has confirmed that he will be visiting President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. later this month with the meeting focused on trade relations between the U.S. and the European Union.
The meeting between the two world leaders will be the first time an Austrian chancellor has visited a President of the United States in Washington D.C. since Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel met with President George W. Bush in 2005, Kronen Zeitung reports.
While no exact date for the visit has been confirmed publicly, the trip is thought to be taking place after Chancellor Kurz returns from a trip to Japan which is scheduled for February 13th to the 17th.
The visit is expected to centre around trade talks with regards to the ongoing trade disputes between the European Union and the United States, although a source within the Austrian Chancellery said that one of the motivations for the visit was to balance out the fact that Kurz had already met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last year.
The visit also draws some parallels to that of former Chancellor Schüssel who, as leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) was also in coalition with the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) in 2005.
‘Secure EU Borders’: Austria’s Kurz and Merkel Clash over Migrant Quotas https://t.co/di2x0UUrZi
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The current conservative-populist coalition government has enjoyed success in many areas including migration policy since forming at the end of 2017, with the Interior Ministry under FPÖ member Herbert Kickl having reduced the number of incoming migrants and raised the number of deportations of illegals and criminal migrants.
Border security is also a critical issue in the United States as President Trump continues to push for the building of a wall on the southern border with Mexico.
A poll released at the end of last month revealed that the U.S. leader could lose as much as 43 per cent of his support if the wall is not completed.