The world will face a starkly dif­fer­ent Amer­ica when P res­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump takes the oath of of­fice in Jan­uary

Malta Independent - - US ELECTIONS -

While the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man’s tri­umph was wel­comed in some coun­tries, oth­ers saw it as a big shock, as gov­ern­ments will now have to deal with a man who has co­zied up to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, told NATO al­lies they would have to pay for their own pro­tec­tion and vowed to make the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment pay for a multi­bil­lion­dol­lar bor­der wall.

Lead­ers weren’t sure what to ex­pect af­ter a US cam­paign in which Trump up­ended for­eign pol­icy or­tho­doxy on nu­mer­ous fronts.

Trump’s win was par­tic­u­larly star­tling in Mex­ico, where his re­marks call­ing Mex­i­can im­mi­grants crim­i­nals and “rapists” were a deep in­sult to na­tional pride. Fi­nan­cial an­a­lysts have pre­dicted a Trump win would threaten bil­lions of dol­lars in cross-bor­der trade, and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials say they have drawn up a con­tin­gency plan for such a sce­nario, though with­out re­leas­ing de­tails.

“It’s DEFCON 2,” Mex­i­can an­a­lyst Ale­jan­dro Hope said. “Prob­a­bly some­thing as close to a na­tional emer­gency as Mex­ico has faced in many decades.”

The im­pact of his un­ex­pected elec­toral tri­umph is also be­ing felt strongly in the volatile Mid­dle East, where mul­ti­ple crises are un­fold­ing.

Iran’s for­eign min­is­ter said the United States must re­spect the com­mit­ments it made as part of last year’s historic nu­clear deal. Trump had crit­i­cized the ac­cord dur­ing the cam­paign and said he would try to rene­go­ti­ate it.

Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif spoke yes­ter­day dur­ing a visit to Ro­ma­nia af­ter Trump’s win was clear. The for­eign min­is­ter said that it’s im­por­tant “that who­ever is elected pres­i­dent of Amer­ica should fully un­der­stand cur­rent re­al­i­ties of the world and con­form their poli­cies with those re­al­i­ties.”

He says the in­com­ing US pres­i­dent “should re­spect the com­mit­ments that the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment has ac­cepted, not as a bi­lat­eral deal, but as a mul­ti­lat-

eral one.”

In Is­rael, Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu con­grat­u­lated Trump and called him a “true friend of the State of Is­rael.”

Ne­tanyahu said that he be­lieves the two lead­ers “will con­tinue to strengthen the unique al­liance be­tween our two coun­tries and bring it to ever greater heights.”

Ear­lier, a key ally in Ne­tanyahu’s cen­ter-right coali­tion, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Naf­tali Ben­nett, said Trump’s vic­tory means that “the era of a Pales­tinian state is over.”

The Pales­tini­ans want a state in lands Is­rael cap­tured in 1967. Ne­tanyahu has said he is will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate a bor­der deal, but has re­tracted offers made by his pre­de­ces­sors while press­ing ahead with Jewish set­tle­ment ex­pan­sion on war-won land.

Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas said that he hopes “peace will be achieved” dur­ing Trump’s term.

Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Haider al-Abadi con­grat­u­lated Trump, say­ing he’s look­ing for­ward to con­tin­ued sup­port in his coun­try’s fight against the Is­lamic State group.

In a state­ment on his web­site, al-Abadi said he hopes the “world and the United States will con­tinue to sup­port Iraq in fight­ing ter­ror­ism.” He says ter­ror­ism doesn’t threaten Iraq alone, but the whole world.

In Europe, NATO al­lies will now wait to see if Trump fol­lows through on sug­ges­tions that the US will look at whether they have paid their proper share in con­sid­er­ing whether to come to their de­fence.

Trump’s rhetoric has chal­lenged the strate­gic un­der­pin­ning of the NATO al­liance, rat­tling its lead­ers at a time when Rus­sia has been in­creas­ingly ag­gres­sive.

Daniela Sch­warzer, an ex­pert on trans-At­lantic re­la­tions at the Ger­man Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions, said Ger­many and Europe can’t rely on its part­ner­ship with the US be­cause of Trump’s stated poli­cies.

“As a can­di­date, Trump called into ques­tion NATO and trade agree­ments, and reached out to Moscow,” she said. “His cam­paign of dis­crim­i­na­tion, lies and ag­gres­sion harmed the prin­ci­ples of lib­eral democ­racy. Even if Pres­i­dent Trump doesn’t im­ple­ment ev­ery­thing, Ger­many and Europe can’t rely on the trans-At­lantic part­ner­ship as usual and have to stand up for West­ern val­ues them­selves.”

Ger­man De­fense Min­is­ter Ur­sula von der Leyen called the vote “a big shock” and “a vote against Wash­ing­ton, against the es­tab­lish­ment.”

Trump’s vic­tory pleased lead­ers of the na­tion­al­ist Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many party who said it will have a rip­ple ef­fect and help change the bal­ance of po­lit­i­cal power in Ger­many and the rest of Europe. The party has cam­paigned strongly against Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s pol­icy of let­ting hun­dreds of thou­sands of mi­grants into the coun­try.

“It was high time that peo­ple dis­en­fran­chised by the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment get their voice back in the United States of Amer­ica too,” party co-leader Frauke Petry said.

The French populist, anti-im­mi­grant politi­cian Marine Le Pen was also pleased. She con­grat­u­lated Trump even be­fore the fi­nal re­sults were known, tweet­ing her sup­port to the “Amer­i­can peo­ple, free!”

French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Marc Ayrault said Euro­pean politi­cians should heed the mes­sage from Trump votes.

“There is a part of our elec­torate that feels... aban­doned,” in­clud­ing peo­ple who feel “left be­hind by glob­al­iza­tion,” he said.

Trump’s vic­tory is be­ing viewed with shock and re­vul­sion in Ire­land, a coun­try close to the Clin­tons and fear­ful of Trump’s cam­paign pledge to con­front US com­pa­nies us­ing Ire­land as a tax shel­ter.

The Ir­ish Times branded the New York busi­ness­man a “misog­y­nis­tic racist liar.”

Ir­ish Times colum­nist Fin­tan O’Toole wrote yes­ter­day: “The repub­lic of Wash­ing­ton, Jef­fer­son, Lin­coln and Roo­sevelt is now the United Hates of Amer­ica.”

“Pres­i­dent Trump is the cre­ation of the same de­mo­graphic that gave Europe its far-right au­thor­i­tar­ian move­ments with such dis­as­trous con­se­quences for the world,” he wrote.

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May is­sued a state­ment say­ing she looks for­ward to work­ing with Trump. Many other Euro­pean lead­ers did the same.

Putin sent Trump a tele­gram yes­ter­day morn­ing con­grat­u­lat­ing him on his vic­tory.

He said in a tele­vised state­ment that Rus­sia is ready to “do ev­ery­thing” to re­store Rus­sian-US re­la­tions, which have been badly strained in re­cent years.

Moscow has been un­usu­ally prom­i­nent in the race. Clin­ton’s cam­paign and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion blamed Rus­sian hack­ers for leaked emails from the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee and Clin­ton cam­paign staff. Trump, in turn, has made com­pli­men­tary re­marks about Putin. The ties some of his ad­vis­ers and for­mer cam­paign of­fi­cials have to Rus­sia have raised sus­pi­cions.

In Asia, se­cu­rity is­sues and trade will top the agenda for the new ad­min­is­tra­tion, from North Korea and the South China Sea to the con­tentious and yet-un­rat­i­fied Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade agree­ment.

Chi­nese state me­dia and gov­ern­ment-backed com­men­ta­tors had sig­naled Bei­jing’s pref­er­ence for a Trump win. Like Rus­sia, China is seen as favour­ing Trump be­cause he ap­pears less will­ing to con­front China’s newly ro­bust for­eign pol­icy, par­tic­u­larly in the South China Sea.

Clin­ton, by con­trast, is dis­liked in Bei­jing for hav­ing steered the US “pivot” to Asia aimed at strength­en­ing US en­gage­ment with the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly in the mil­i­tary sphere.

Scholar Mei Xinyu wrote in the Com­mu­nist Party news­pa­per Global Times that China would find it eas­ier to cope with a Trump pres­i­dency.

“Trump has al­ways in­sisted on aban­don­ing ide­o­log­i­cal di­vi­sion and min­i­miz­ing the risks that un­nec­es­sary con­flicts with other coun­tries may bring to the US,” Mei wrote.

News of Trump’s widen­ing lead hit hard in Cuba, which has spent the last two years ne­go­ti­at­ing nor­mal­iza­tion with the United States af­ter more than 50 years of Cold War hos­til­ity, set­ting off a tourism boom. Trump has promised to roll back Obama’s open­ing with Cuba un­less Pres­i­dent Raul Cas­tro agrees to more po­lit­i­cal free­doms.

“If he re­v­erses it, it hurts us,” taxi driver Oriel Igle­sias Gar­cia said. “You know tourism will go down.”

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