Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and Federica Mogherini the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy jointly addressed the Press. Their statements followed an informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers with the American dignitary. Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium. Shoot date: 05/12/2017. Copyright: European Union.

At the end of last week, Rex Tillerson, the US State Department Secretary was intentionally undermined by President Donald Trump. This surprise move from the White House came only hours after the former gave an “’ironclad’ promise of U.S. support to its oldest allies in Europe”. To undercut this pledge, the White House leaked information that Tillerson may be fired before the end of the year and be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Trump inner cycle confident. The next day Trump didn’t refute the information, he just said Tillerson is not leaving.

In any case, this was clearly a White House machination to dent Tillerson’s reassurances to the Europeans, the very moment when the State Secretary was ready to set off to a NATO and EU tour in Europe. The message was received badly on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. According to a Reuters report, “an EU official involved in diplomacy with White House officials said ‘Tillerson comes to Brussels to give a public statement of support that the EU and NATO have wanted all along, it seems he has no mandate, that the guillotine is hanging over his head. It leaves Europe just as doubtful as before about Trump.” Last Tuesday, Tillerson started  a tour of the European institutions in Brussels, the EU and NATO, and participated in an informal meeting of the European Foreign ministers.

Trump undermines Tillerson

Undoubtedly, there are crucial differences between Trump and Tillerson on many key global issues. For example, regarding the US stance towards Europe and North Korea, the two men appear to be definitely split. The White House follows an unrestrictedly aggressive line in both cases. Some months ago, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, during her state visit to Washington D.C. was abused by Trump.

In their joint Press conference, she had to listen to the US President saying that many European NATO countries and more particularly Germany owed hundreds of billions to the US and the Alliance. Supposedly, they owe huge amounts of money because those countries had not been spending for years a certain part of their GDP on armaments, and of course not buying American goodies. Trump repeated those remarks in his first official participation in the annual NATO meeting in Brussels last spring, enraging the Europeans.

Anti European words and actions

The next anti-European step by Trump came at his official visit to Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, the American President after having secured $220 billion in Saudi contracts with the US, exorcised Iran and threatened to pull out from the P5+1 agreement with Iran. The P5+1 nations (US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) agreement of 2015 with Iran, provided that the latter country accepted to stop its nuclear program and be duly inspected about that. In exchange, the P5+1 nations lifted a long and devastating embargo.

The first to profit from Tehran’s opening to the world were the Europeans. The airplane maker Airbus and the French oil giant Total singed hefty contracts with Iran, which are now in limbo because the US may again choose to impose an embargo. On top of that, Trump while in Riyadh, labelled Iran as a terrorist country, the sole source of terrorist action in the Middle East. And all that from Saudi Arabia, a well known supporter of all and every Sunni Muslim terrorist organization in the entire world. In this way Trump is undermining the business openings Europe, and more particularly France and Germany have in Iran. On the contrary, the US don’t stand a chance to get anything from this country.

Bought by Saudi money

Trump’s full siding with the Saudis has already created more waves of insecurity in the Middle East, as for example in the Lebanon. Some weeks ago, the Saudis practically arrested the Prime Minister of this country and forced him to read in a TV appearance his resignation address. Lebanon has been an old colony and a traditional ally of France. Paris rushed to protect the Lebanese PM and had difficulties taking him to France. President Emmanuel Macron had to fly to Riyadh in order to save the Lebanese premier.

In the latest development, the White House quite openly and summarily undermined State Department’s European opening. Tillerson’s ‘ironclad’ reassurances and the subsequent uncanny attack of Trump against his minister was a lesson to many. The Europeans learned the difficult way, that Trump’s aggressive stance will not change and actually may worsen.

Spreading insecurity

Europe is also anxious with the US – North Korea deadlock. Both sides threaten each other with total war and nuclear inferno. Trump has again sidestepped Tillerson in this affair too, by telling him in a twitter “not to lose his time with North Korea”. The State Department had secured a direct line of communication with the leadership of the isolated country and the White House managed to cut it off. Trump’s dangerous changes of the American foreign policies have no end.

He pulled the US out from the Paris Climate Agreement and threatens the world with a dangerous reshuffling of global trade flows. He targets countries like Germany for exporting more product than what they import from the US. His latest inflammatory decision is his readiness to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and preparing to move the US embassy there. All the leaders in this region have contested this prospect as a precarious step. Only the extreme right wing and religious bigots of Israel and their US relations support this decision, despite or probably because it may trigger a new wave of violence and deadly warfare.

Mogherini reacts

Undoubtedly, a new bloodshed in Palestine will decisively corner the moderate voices in all sides of the conflict and secure the position of warmongers. In this way, Trump must be repaying one of the many debts he undersigned, in order to land at the White House. Europe is again targeted in her underbelly of East Mediterranean and the Middle East. Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, speaking in Brussels in the presence of Tillerson, said “any action that would undermine peace efforts to create two separate states for the Israelis and the Palestinians must absolutely be avoided”. She also stressed that Europe’s position vis-a-vis the status of Jerusalem is that it has to be agreed through negotiations.

Before that, the EU Foreign affairs ministers had an informal meeting with the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. According to an EU Press release “Mongherini and the EU foreign ministers and the US State Secretary discussed how to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on major global challenges”. The wording would have been warmer and more meaningful hadn’t the presence of Tillerson in Europe been undermined by the White House.

All in all, the Europeans have no doubts left that Trump’s America is not what it used to be for the Old Continent: the integral part of an ‘ironclad’ alliance.

 

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Clean Mobility: Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

On their epic journeys, migratory birds connect nations and inspire people, UN says on World Day

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

UN chief extends condolences to families of China landslide casualties

Global spotlight on world drug problem ‘is personal’ for many families, says UN chief

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

UN welcomes ‘milestone’ release of 833 Nigerian children from anti-Boko Haram force

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Cutting emissions, one bog at a time

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

Cybersecurity: agreement reached on better protection for citizens and companies

Social Entrepreneurship in the times of the refugee crisis

10 predictions for the global economy in 2019

3 ways to protect your mental health during – and after – COVID-19

Back to the basics for the EU: Investment equals Growth

Rights experts call for greater protection of indigenous people during migration

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

Asia’s plastic problem is choking the world’s oceans. Here’s how to fix it

‘Immense’ needs of migrants making perilous journey between Yemen and Horn of Africa prompts $45 million UN migration agency appeal

In South Sudan, mothers teaching daughters ‘safer’ ways to survive rape

Greece’s last Eurogroup or the beginning of a new solid European Union?

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Respect people’s peaceful assembly and fair trail rights, UN human rights wing urges Nicaragua

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

MEPs call for sanctions against Turkey over military operation in Syria

How civil society must adapt to survive its greatest challenges

Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Greek citizens to pay the price again but Tsipras risks losing next elections

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Vaccine against Ebola: Commission grants first-ever market authorisation

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

Coronavirus has ‘pandemic potential’ – but what is a pandemic?

Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge

Alarming number of women mistreated during childbirth, new UN health agency figures show

Glaringly false reassurances about the repercussions of the EU-US free trade agreement

State aid: Commission approves Luxembourg guarantee measure to further support economy in coronavirus outbreak

European Border and Coast Guard: 10 000-strong standing corps by 2027

Drastic deterioration in security across Burkina Faso as 70,000 flee their homes in past two months, UN warns

EP Brexit Steering Group calls on the UK to overcome the deadlock

“The winner is who can accelerate the transition to a new digital era”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015: a Digital Europe 4.0

As many as 330,000 displaced by heavy fighting in south-west Syria – UN agency

Do we judge robots on their colour? This study says we do

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Implementation of EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EU mobilises €663 million in humanitarian assistance

US prosecutors now target Volkswagen’s top management, upsetting Germany

EU strengthens cooperation with Ethiopia

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

Saudi woman seeking asylum in Thailand ‘now in a secure place’ says UNHCR

Victim-centred laws ‘paramount’ to combat online sexual abuse against children

How do you get people to trust self-driving vehicles? This company is giving them ‘virtual eyes’

These are the world’s most positive countries

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s