Pence was met with silence at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Friday after he delivered his signature line: “I bring you greetings from the 45th president of the United States, President Donald Trump.”
The cold reception exposed the weakened state of Western diplomacy in the face of Trump’s assertiveness, Reuters said in a report on Sunday, citing European diplomats and politicians.
Pence’s predecessor, Joe Biden, who was also present at the conference, promised that “America will be back” once Trump leaves office, winning a standing ovation from the guests, Presstv reported.
Anxiety about Washington’s international role are being felt by ordinary people as well as foreign policy specialists, according to recent surveys around the world.
In Germany and France, half the population see US power as a threat, a sharp increase from 2013 and a view shared by 37 percent of Britons, the Washington-based Pew Research Center said in a report last week.
Pence’s message was that the pillars of US foreign policy were being rebuilt on a different foundation, which includes increasing pressure on Iran, containing China, and requiring European powers to fall into line.
During a speech in Warsaw on Thursday, Pence accused Britain, France and Germany of trying to undermine US sanctions on Iran and called for the European Union to recognize Venezuelan congressional leader Juan Guaido as president over Nicolas Maduro, whom he called a dictator.
That drew an angry response from Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, who said the bloc could acknowledge Guaido as interim president until new elections.
“US pressure has a tendency to make us do the opposite. US pressure is counterproductive. It’s best that they don’t try and pressure us,” a senior French diplomat told Reuters