US sees sweeping international condemnation over decision on Israeli settlements    Book about Jack the Ripper's victims wins nonfiction prize    Reaction to Mourinho's appointment as Tottenham coach    Unpredictable Sondland faces questions about Trump, Ukraine    As unrest breaks out in Iran more than 100 protestors killed    Argentina's great Maradona leaves post as Gimnasia y Esgrima coach    Tennis: I'll stop when my body tells me to, says Federer    Argentina´s president-elect tells IMF he has sustainable plan to repay debt    Egypt to be among qualified teams to 2021 AFCON: coach    Real Estate shares aid Dubai stocks; other Gulf mixed    Oil steady after two-day declineas growth worries weigh    Egypt's parliament rejects draft law regulating public manners, dress    Sisi says Egypt has spent $60 bln on electricity network, linkages    Dollar, yen climb as trade news dries up    Who's afraid of Iraqi nationalism?    Newsreel    GERD: One round gone, three left    In support of Africa    Connecting the globe    Cleared, with recommendations    Testing times    ‘Tis the season to feel queasy'    Political costs of the Iranian protests    Unbelievable reality    Egyptian Museum marks 117th anniversary    Police kill 2 ‘dangerous criminals' in shootout in Upper Egypt's Aswan    Egypt's Zamalek dismisses defender Mahmoud Alaa departure rumours    To prevent dementia, exercise is the answer – researchers say    Egypt's El-Badry promises performance will improve after Salah's return    The Jobs with the best and worst heart health according to Bupa study    10 tips to have your 30s starting a lifelong success    ‘Shining' sequel ‘Doctor Sleep' targets $25 mln opening, has Stephen King's blessing    Sisi: Egypt believes in comprehensive approach to human rights    Egypt rejects politicised reports on human rights conditions – parliament    Al Pacino says follows this mantra on every acting job    Remembering Mustafa Mahmoud, philosopher of his time    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

UN General Assembly: The world is watching
Published in Ahram Online on 26 - 09 - 2018

US Representative at the United Nations Nikki Haley said this week that the UN Security Council meeting on 26 September, supposed to be chaired by US President Donald Trump, would be “the most-watched Security Council session ever.”
However, it seems that not only this particular session, but also the whole 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, will be the most-watched in history as it will indicate some of the effects of the foreign policies currently being pursued by the US administration.
This General Assembly is the second attended by Trump, but what makes it different from the previous one is what the US has been doing to its allies in the meantime.
The US's Western allies are disappointed at Trump's pull-out from the Paris Agreement on climate change and the nuclear deal with Iran as well as the customs tariffs on their exports put in place by the US.
There are also other issues like the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, the future of NATO and the NAFTA agreement, which Trump has called “unfair” to the United States, that Trump has said he wants to change.
There are many unhappy faces at this General Assembly meeting standing around the ever-smiling Trump.
There are also the tariff increases on Chinese imports to the US, with the general rise in US tariffs not even leaving Canada untouched.
Most of the world's leaders have a reason to be disappointed with the US, but they still have to find a way of keeping going with this superpower and the global economy it dominates.
Perhaps many of them may be tolerating Trump as the investigation into the alleged collusion between Trump's election campaign and Russia continues. Some may privately wish to see Trump's impeachment as a way out of the current deadlock.
However, while such hopes may be expressed privately among some diplomats at the UN, in the streets of New York outside one does not hear such thoughts expressed by ordinary Americans, who do not seem to have concerns about the president's fate.
Life continues as normal in the US even as many Americans may be tired of hearing about allegations in the press about the current administration.
Meanwhile, Trump's innovations in US foreign policy continue, whether moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and cutting off aid to the Palestinians as a way of putting pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sit at the negotiation table with the Israelis or pressuring the Iranians to renegotiate the Iran deal by implementing US sanctions.
None of these policies have pleased the international community, meaning the Western countries, though some of Trump's allies among the Arab states have seen an opportunity in the policies pursued by this White House to settle regional issues.
Trump is still popular among many Americans, and there is a conviction among those supporting him that he will finish his term as president despite the noises being made against him in Washington.
Yet, this may not lead to an automatic acceptance of Trump's requests of his Arab allies. Saudi Arabia has refused to increase its oil production to the level Trump had demanded, since he wants Americans to have access to cheaper fuel, as the Saudis are not in favour of Trump's plans in this regard, for example.
The Saudi goal is to see a stable international oil market, and the Saudis see the current oil price as both acceptable and realistic.
Saudi Arabia's bitterness against Tehran is one story, and its oil policy is quite another. It will not manipulate it if it does not see this as being in its strategic interests even if this is something that its closest ally wishes to see happen.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that this year's UN General Assembly meetings should be focused on advancing key issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance and food security, peace and security, counter-terrorism and the reform of the United Nations.
This tells us much about how regional issues from Iran to Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict count with Trump, and they will likely make the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly the most-watched ever and not just the Security Council meeting on 26 September.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 27 September 2018 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the headline: The world is watching

Clic here to read the story from its source.