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Weakened, Trump began a perilous journey

Riyadh, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Rome, Brussels, Sicily: Donald Trump, difficulties in Washington, began on Friday, a move that will be closely scrutinized in the capitals of the world.

This first trip is extraordinarily dense – five countries in eight days, a multitude of head-to-head, of king Salman to the holy father pope Francis, passing by the new president of france Emmanuel Macron. And it promises to be a perilous exercise for the american leader.

The avalanche of revelations that have preceded his departure have put him in a difficult position in the United States and rekindled questions about his ability to wear the costume of a presidential decree. “The fact is that nobody knows how Donald Trump will behave or what he will say in a meeting of this type because it has never done so,” says Stephen Sestanovich, Council on Foreign Relations.

“Friendly but frank”

The mask of the unpredictable president in his seventies, highlights a style that is “friendly but frank”, a guarantee of effectiveness in international relations.

Donald Trump, little fond of long travels, will be accompanied by his wife Melania, well behind up here, as well as his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are also two of his closest advisors.

In foreign policy, the real estate tycoon has made a dramatic refocusing compared with its about campaign inflamed. On the bottom, it should explain how and where “America first”, the slogan favorite, is compatible with multilateralism.

Donald Trump “knows that America first does not mean America alone, quite the contrary,” has launched his national security adviser, H. R. McMaster. But beyond a formula well turned, the questions remain numerous.

Speech on islam

The White House has put forward a “travel history” during which the president will go to the meeting of the three great monotheistic religions.

A Ryad, where he will arrive on Saturday, Donald Trump should make an effort to mark the contrast with its predecessor, which aroused the suspicion of the sunni monarchies of the Gulf. Speech muscular vis-à-vis shiite Iran, muting questions about the rights of Man, the announcement is likely to contracts armament: the ingredients are gathered so that the home is good.

But the president is taking a risky bet by saying, since the saudi arabian capital and in front of more than 50 leaders of muslim countries, a discourse on islam. “I will call them to fight hatred and extremism”, he promised before his departure, citing a “peaceful vision” of islam.

Controversy in Israel

In Israel, where he hopes to push the idea – the contours still very fuzzy – of a peace agreement, Donald Trump will be joined by his “friend” Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

The move is already surrounded by a whiff of controversy, linked to the organization of the visit to the Wailing wall and to the transmission to the russians of classified information obtained from the israeli ally.

The meeting with pope Francis at the Vatican promises to be singular, both the positions of the two men are poles apart, whether on immigration, refugees, or climate change.

What is the link with Europe ?

Europe, where Donald Trump has been a source of puzzlement to blows of contradictory statements on the Brexit, the EU’s future or the role of Nato, will be the last stage of his journey with the summit of the atlantic Alliance in Brussels and the G7, to Taormina.

“Invest in the relationship with the allies across the Atlantic as all his predecessors have done since Pearl Harbor ?”, asks Charles Kupchan, a former adviser to Barack Obama. “He came to power by implying that no, he has since suggested that may be. Everyone will be on the lookout”.

Donald Trump has, to this day, never personally reaffirmed the United States commitment to article 5 of the Nato treaty to solidarity between member States in case of foreign aggression.

The perception of the movement from America will also be crucial. Aware that the terrorist threat is a topic of central concern, the republican president hope to come back with tangible commitments to its allies in the fight against the group islamic State (EI).

But, regardless of the powerful images that remain of his journey, he will find it hard to make forget the business that make to tremble of his presidency in Washington. (tty/nxp)

Created: 19.05.2017, 10: 08

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