‘I need to see the real Donald Trump, the President Trump’ – Foreign Affairs Minister
Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella said yesterday he needs to see the “real” Donald Trump before deciding whether he is worried by America’s choice of next President.
Dr Vella was being interviewed by The Malta Independent’s Content Director Pierre Portelli, in another edition of INDEPTH, which will be available online today.
Asked for his initial reaction to this morning’s electoral result, Dr Vella said he respected the decision of the American people, which was, however, surprising. “We were surprised by the result, just like we were surprised by the Brexit vote. We were particularly surprised because it seemed, during the campaign, that there was a clear distinction between the styles of Clinton and Trump.”
Dr Vella said people, not just in the US but also in Europe, seemed to be moving away from the establishment and opting for “a fresh, clear or different” vision.
“As a country we have to look at how we are going to work as best we can with the Trump presidency. I am convinced that the Donald Trump we saw on the podium, with all the things he said, is not the same as Trump the US President. History teaches us that some leaders do not actually do the things they say during electoral campaigns,” adding that Trump will feel the weight of responsibility when in office, and that he will be guided by a team of advisors.
Pressed to say whether he was concerned that Donald Trump as President could upset the world stage, Dr Vella said: “It is not that I am not worried but I still have to see the real Donald Trump – President Trump.”
He was concerned, however, by the fact that Trump did not speak at all on foreign policy during the campaign.
“Barack Obama, whom I respect greatly, practically abandoned the international scene in the past year and a half, particularly the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. The void left by America in Europe and the Middle East is being filled by Putin, who “is playing a chess game to get what he wants.”
“Europe’s security depends on the bond with the US military might. If Europe’s security crumbles and we need to resort to defence, and America has to have a role. It is worrying that we have heard nothing from Trump on foreign policy. What will he do? But, again, I am sure that his foreign policy advisors will make him aware of his responsibilities.”