World Leaders React to 2016 U.S. Election by Jack Viancourt ’18

 

We’ve all watched riots in the news, seen the debates on Twitter, and even argued with friends. It is very clear that the election has truly made an impact on Americans before the results were even finalized. Whether we agree or disagree with the outcome of the election, Trump is the newly-elected President of the United States. We have heard many opinions all over the nation about these results, but we must also realize the impact this election has globally.

It is important to hear foreign nations’ perspectives on the election, especially from our allies, as it may affect relationships with these countries. For example, the former South Korean Vice Foreign Minister, Kim Sung-han, stated, “Saying the U.S. (specifically Donald Trump) will no longer engage in anything that is a burden in terms of its relationships with allies, it would be almost like abandoning those alliances.”

Other nations not only worry about a potentially damaging relationship with the US, but are also in downright disagreement with, and are angered by, the beliefs of Trump. German Economy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, spoke out and announced, “Whether Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders — all these right-wing populists are not only a threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development.”

Some Middle Eastern nations, such as Saudi Arabia, felt offended by comments Trump has made to the public about Muslims, and are appalled that the US would elect such a leader. “For the life of me, I cannot believe that a country like the United States can afford to have someone as president who simply says, ‘These people are not going to be allowed to come to the United States.” – Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to the United States.

However, Israel, also a Middle Eastern nation, believes that Trump is a good man who will prosper in his leadership role. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went as far as calling him, “a true friend of the State of Israel.”

There are leaders who believe that the United States will prosper under Trump’s administration, and feel hopeful for a potential unity in America. “In the presidential elections, there are arguments whether the United States is going for the isolationist stance. I don’t want to see that kind of United States. I want to see the United States to be strong and come with a strong robust position…” said Kenichiro Sasae, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S.

In fact, there are many countries who even believe in and support Donald Trump. Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both congratulated Trump and said they were looking forward to future relations. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said to Trump, “as a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents, not only you made a great contribution to the growth of the US economy, but now as a strong leader, you have demonstrated your determination to lead the United States.”

It is fair to say there is diversity in the general opinion of foreign leaders towards Donald Trump. Some love him, others believe in him, and some despise his political beliefs. As a country, however, it is important that we support him, despite our differences in political beliefs. With the support of foreign leaders and allies, we can only hope Donald Trump makes the right decisions to help our nation prosper.

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