News ID: 193558
Published: 0929 GMT May 26, 2017

Washington Post slams Trump’s foreign policy of promoting Arab despots

Washington Post slams Trump’s foreign policy of promoting Arab despots

A major US daily has blasted what it described as President Donald Trump’s “distorted foreign policy” in accommodating notorious Arab dictators in the Persian Gulf -- specifically the Bahraini monarch – while harshly censuring American European partners.

Pointing to clear consequences of Trump’s statements and impressions, The Washington Post insisted in one of its Friday editorials that a “good example” came on Tuesday “when Bahraini security forces stormed an opposition encampment just two days after Mr. Trump promised the Persian Gulf nation’s king that there would be no more “strain” between their governments.”

The influential newspaper then added, “Those strains, of course, concerned the Sunni regime’s crackdown on its Shia opposition, which has been escalating in recent months.”

Underlining Washington’s “challenging” ties with the Bahraini regime, which it described as “a key ally that hosts the US 5th Fleet and a conspicuous violator of human rights” the Post noted that the previous US president Barack Obama also failed to rein in the Manama rulers for their human rights abuses but at least it tried by publicly urging the regime “to liberalize” and “held up arms sales… when it did not.”

“That was the pressure Mr. Trump promised to eradicate when he met with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on Sunday… saying, ‘Our countries have a wonderful relationship together, but there has been a little strain, but there won’t be strain with this administration,’” wrote the editorial.

It then emphasized that just two days after Trump’s remarks, “came the bloodiest act of repression by Bahraini security forces in years, a raid in which at least five people were reported killed and hundreds arrested.”

The daily then went on to further point out that last weekend Trump also “promised Saudi Arabia and other Sunni dictatorships that they ‘will never question out support,’ adding, ‘We are not here to lecture.’”

However, it emphasized, the president on Thursday “declined to restate the US commitment to defend its democratic European allies if they are attacked, as Article 5 of the NATO treaty provides.”

The editorial then drew another contrast between Trump’s treatment of Arab despots and US NATO allies, writing: “In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump gamely joined in a chauvinistic, males-only sword dance. In Brussels, he was captured on videotape as he rudely shoved aside Montenegro’s prime minister to position himself at the center of a group photo.”

The incident prompted broad criticism of the US president at home and across Europe, with some journalists describing his conduct and statements as “embarrassing.”

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