Talk emerges of a diplomatic boycott of the Trump administration

There is increasing chatter among mostly European diplomats that their nations’ displeasure about President Donald Trump would best be shown by staging a diplomatic boycott, namely, recalling ambassadors in Washington and leaving only chargés d’affaires in charge. This type of measure has been used in the past to show opposition to the domestic and foreign policies of foreign governments. Recently, Saudi Arabia led such a boycott, albeit for spurious reasons, against Qatar. Many nations have recalled their ambassadors to Israel following moves by that country against Palestinians.

The disgust and frustration by Europeans over Trump’s defense of neo-Nazism and Ku Klux Klan protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, is evident on the front cover of The Economist, a magazine that has wide readership among the diplomatic and business communities in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. A Trump caricature is shown with a bullhorn in the shape of a KKK hood.

Currently, there are 23 chargés in Washington, but very few of these have been left running their missions because of political problems. Venezuela, Bolivia, Sudan, Eritrea, and Belarus withdrew their ambassadors some time ago amid diplomatic rifts with the United States. Other nations, including Uganda, the Philippines, Gambia, St. Lucia, Zambia, Hungary, and Argentina just have not gotten around to naming new ambassadors, which has nothing to do with Trump. However, the absence of a European Union ambassador in Washington may have something to do with Trump’s repeated criticism of the organization.

Ambassadors do not carry the clout that they once wielded in Washington under previous presidents. If nations decide to withdraw their ambassadors for “consultations,” diplomatic-speak for a subtle downgrading of relations, the functions of the embassies—issuing visas, conducting intelligence gathering, attending receptions, and lobbying Congress—would carry on with little overall impact on operations.

When Trump signaled his willingness to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some Arab leaders called for the closure of all Arab embassies in Washington. Nabih Berri, the speaker of Lebanon’s parliament and president of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, called for such a boycott if Trump carried out his promise. However, the Trump administration put off its plan and the boycott never materialized.

The aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War saw several Arab nations sever diplomatic relations with the United States.

If a diplomatic boycott of the Trump emerges, expect it to start with the Nordic and Benelux blocs in Europe, perhaps followed by Germany, France, Ireland, and Greece. Trump’s support for the KKK activists in Charlottesville could also see a negative reaction from Africa, with South Africa being the most likely to join in a diplomatic boycott of Trump.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2017

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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2 Responses to Talk emerges of a diplomatic boycott of the Trump administration

  1. There is a hidden agenda in reporting excessively the events of Charlottesville that rarely comes to light. This excessive focus obscures pressing issues such as the healing of racism for both black, white, and browns. Rather than pointing political fingers at the bad guys which only perpetuates the suffering why not ask who gains by taking down Confederate Monuments and. Would it help to take down civil war monuments in the North and replace them with statues of Native Americans or Afro-Americans? Or would it help to directly address the issue of the healing of wounds of those displaced, including all races and men displaced by three generations of women’s´ movements.
    The wounds of the Civil War fester while propandandists reiterate the point of view that the Southerners were bad slaveholders while ignoring the fact the debt slavery held millions of northern white workers bound to sweat shops. My family descended from textile workers in Massachusetts.
    Exploitation was the issue in both north and south and it transcended the color line. Today´s news’s media furry promotes who´s agenda. A call for transparency will foster some real progress toward the healing of issues that have been sidetracked by people of all races who believe that that are beyond being prejudiced. It is time to move beyond the politically correct paradigm “I´m not prejudiced, but…”

  2. Tony Vodvarka

    Although not in any way a supporter of Trump, I am somewhat alarmed at the extraordinary hysteria that has gripped the nation in the apparent attempt to achieve a “constitutional” coup d’état as in Brazil. Any improbable assertion or fevered thought by those who would topple Trump by any means necessary, whatever the political blowback, can gain currency by the drumbeat coverage of most of the corporate media. Mr. Madsen severely discredits his writing with a phrase like, “Trump’s support for the KKK activists in Charlottesville….” This is a deliberate distortion of what Trump was trying to say with his sixth-grade vocabulary. The confederacy sympathizers had a permit to demonstrate; the “antifas” did not and many were masked and came armed with baseball bats. The mayor is a DNC activist. It seems the police “ketteled” the two opposing groups together and then disappeared. Make of it what you will.