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Trump remarks must be guarded, lest they hurt global diplomacy

By Editorial | Published Sat, January 13th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 12th 2018 at 19:47 GMT +3
US President Donald Trump in a file photo [Jim Watson|AFP]

The US President, Donald Trump, who has made a name for sardonic remarks, unwarranted name-calling and careless talk about his opponents, real or perceived, is at it again. On Thursday, during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reforms, specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, the US president reportedly referred to African countries as ‘shithole’ and asked why their citizens should be allowed to migrate to the US. While it can be argued that Trump’s toxic language and Twitter rants towards his domestic opponents is not criminal because they are on opposing sides, it is wrong to imply that some developing countries, more so those from Africa, are in such worse state that they deserve such a derogatory moniker.

He has so far denied making those remarks, which have been condemned by the United Nations. Mr Trump continues to rub world leaders the wrong way without realising that the world is a global village and he will need to work with many countries to achieve some of his international policies even as he pushes his America First agenda.

Trump has seemingly not realised that he is no-longer the reality TV star nor the real-estate mogul but President of the most powerful country in the world. He needs to act with decorum and not with infantile rage like an attention-seeking child. Ideally, Mr Trump should know that the import of his words can harm international trade or the fight against terrorism.

For nations such as Kenya, which is US’s traditional ally in nearly all aspects, Trump’s words, and subsequent actions should be a cause for worry now that his latest remarks came a day after the national carrier Kenya Airways got a greenlight to fly directly to New York from Nairobi. While it is not clear what kind of action Mr Trump might take to affect the flights or passenger numbers, his erratic nature calls for caution  — and his latest remarks must be condemned because they go against all tenets of international diplospeak in the 21st century. 

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Standardmedia.co.ke


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