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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Trump calls on the world to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions

America first doesn't mean America alone, the president tells World Economic Forum in Davos

US President Donald Trump waves after delivering his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos. Fabrice Coffrini  / AFP Photo
US President Donald Trump waves after delivering his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos. Fabrice Coffrini / AFP Photo

Donald Trump called on the world to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon as he pledged that a strong United States would play a central role in delivering global prosperity and security.

The president told the World Economic Forum said that his “America First” policies did not mean that the US was going it alone, citing security concerns and vowed to tackle unfairness in the global trading system.

Mr Trump called on nations to work together to defeat ISIL, tackle tensions around North Korea's nuclear threat as well as all terrorism. He said that the US was making “historic investments” in the military because “we cannot have prosperity without security”.

"We continue to call on partners... to block Iran's path to a nuclear weapon," he said in a speech at Davos, Switzerland.

“We’re asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defences and meet their financial obligations,” he said. “Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.”

He cited the broad coalition that had resulted in ISIL losing "almost 100 per cent" of its territory in Iraq and Syria after targeting terrorist financing and the group's propaganda efforts.

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The speech, which focused on his administration's tax and bureaucracy-cutting credentials, was only the second time that a sitting US president has attended the elite annual meeting.

Mr Trump highlighted his accomplishments including tax code changes and their potential stimulation of economic growth, how he is rolling back regulations, and working towards increasing energy production and security. He said that no country should be held hostage by a single provider of energy.

"The world is experiencing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America," he said.

“I believe in America,” said Mr Trump. “As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first.

“But America first does not meant America alone. When the US grows so does the world.”

Mr Trump warned other countries that the US would enforce trade laws and would not tolerate the theft of intellectual property. He said there could be no free and fair trade if some countries exploited the system.

Earlier this week, comments from the US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin that a weak dollar was good for trade appeared to contradict his president's stance that the greenback would continue to strengthen.

A senior US administration briefing media before the speech said that the president and Mr Mnuchin are fully aligned on the dollar. "Recent comments do not indicate a change in policy," the official said.

Despite a speech that focused on encouraging investment, Mr Trump was met with muted booing after he renewed his assault on the US media he described as "nasty", "vicious" and "fake" after denying overnight reports that he tried to fire the head of an inquiry into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia to influence the US election.

Mr Trump's brief presence in Davos has already been eventful. He has met with the prime ministers of Britain and Israel, hit out at the treatment of his vice president by Palestinian officials and offered to apologise for retweeting anti-Muslim videos.

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Pictures: Latest from Davos

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Other leaders including France's Emannuel Macron, Canada's Justin Trudeau and India's Narendra Modi have each made their presence felt, delivering important messages of international co-operation and a more inclusive future.

It was left to Trump, however, to have the final word.

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