First minister talks of global role of independent Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has said that she expects to meet Donald Trump when he comes to the United Kingdom this year.

"I don't think there is any need, nor is there any intention, to see a matter that should be settled politically end up in the courts".

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted her U.S. tour is focused on trade after opponents criticised her promoting Scottish independence on the taxpayer-funded trip.

However, Mr Trump is expected to visit Scotland during his state visit, as he owns two golf resorts north of the border and his mother was born on the Isle of Lewis.

Ms Sturgeon stressed that it had not been a "deliberate decision" to avoid the President during her tour of the U.S., during which she has been promoting Scottish trade, business investment and tourism.

"But I would seek to operate in a way that is respectful and constructive", she said.

But the first minister of Scotland said in an interview with The Associated Press that she also strongly believes it's important "to stand up and champion values that we hold dear and not allow a diplomatic silence to get in the way of doing that".

During a tour of the United States in which she has not met the president's team, she said that she does not object to the golf courses in Ayshire and Aberdeenshire owned by Mr Trump's corporation and welcomes the USA investment they bring.

In a question-and-answer session following a speech at Stanford University in California, Ms Sturgeon also said it was "quite a vague term".

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Scottish Labour business manager James Kelly said: "Even on a foreign trip Nicola Sturgeon can't stop campaigning for another divisive independence referendum".

Sturgeon said a new referendum "should be on the same basis as the last referendum".

A joint agreement committing the Scottish Government and the state of California to work together to tackle climate change has been signed.

Sturgeon met with the Governor of California Edmund G Brown in Sacramento to discuss how the two administrations can work together and provide a model for other governments to follow.

"Today's meeting strengthened our relationship with the Government of California and I'm confident we can work together to achieve the targets set out by the Under2 MoU".

Sturgeon said she has no objection to the golf courses and welcomes USA investment.

A strong advocate for gender equality, Sturgeon spoke at a United Nations meeting earlier Wednesday on human rights and the role of women in building peace. "It's in our mutual benefit. But I want Scotland to play its part".

The address at the United Nations was aimed at raising Sturgeon's worldwide profile and drawing attention to Scotland's credentials as a "good global citizen".

"However, I'm also hoping that the First Minister will return from the USA full of ideas on how to repeat the success we've had in powering our homes and businesses with renewables in order to start reducing carbon pollution from Scotland's transport and heating sectors".

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