Sir Peter Westmacott: Trump’s ‘empathy’ with strongmen

Sir Peter Westmacott: “a lot of the strongmen … of the Arab world, are feeling quite comfortable at the moment.”

Former British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Peter Westmacott, recently gave an interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN. In the interview, Westmacott discussed the Trump administration potentially flipping relations with many of the strongmen around the world. He went on to discuss the US’s relationships with Egypt, China, North Korea and Turkey.

Westmacott commented that “there is a natural empathy with strongmen”. For instance, Trump has recently been very complimentary about President Sisi, the current President of Egypt. With President Sisi stating, following his meeting with Trump last month, that this has been his first state visit to the US since his inauguration.

Westmacott went on to say that President Sisi’s sentiment will be echoed by many of the strongmen across the Arab world, with Trump’s strong standpoint on issues such as terror and their common dislike of Iran.

With regard to North Korea, Trump has declared: “solve North Korea, we will”, tough talk which, Westmacott argues, aims to try to get the Chinese government to face up to the problem of nuclear North Korea and to work with the US to find a solution that is not a military one. Westmacott states that the US really needs to face up to the problem as they cannot live with the risk.

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