‘I need to see the real Don­ald Trump, the Pres­i­dent Trump’ – For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.”

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