"Ambassador O’Brien looks forward to conducting in-depth meetings in Paris this week with his counterparts from France, UK, Germany, and Italy to address a range of national security challenges including China, 5G, Russia, Afghanistan, Middle East/North Africa and COVID response and recovery", NSC spokesperson John Ullyot, who will also be on the trip, said.
O’Brien will arrive in France on Monday morning and his visit will last until Wednesday. Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, is also visiting France.
When asked why the national security adviser is traveling to France instead of conducting the meeting by video conference, the spokesperson said it was “more powerful making the case in person. There is no substitute for personal diplomacy. You can’t do that over Skype”.
O’Brien and Pottinger, who is a former China reporter for The Wall Street Journal, will hold a group meeting with European officials on Tuesday and Wednesday in a French government building. The discussions will focus on the West’s competition with China, according to NSC spokesperson John Ullyot.