The personality of Donald Trump has “no precedent” in modern US history, but he should be given a chance to put forward his policies, Henry Kissinger said, highlighting the president-elect’s potential to shape global politics and keep to the US tradition of “building world peace.”
Speaking at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo, Norway, on the issue of “World Peace after the US Presidential Election,” the 93-year-old former diplomat and Nobel Prize winner dispelled fears of the looming cataclysm of Trump’s presidency.
“Before postulating an inevitable crisis, an opportunity should be given to the new administration to put forward its vision of international order,” Kissinger said.
The 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner stressed that following the election, the debate over US role in the world should be focused on Trump’s potential and policies rather than the rhetoric the Republican used during his campaign, which made a number of countries from Europe to Asia apprehensive about their future relationship with Washington.
“International debate should be over evolving American policy, not over campaign rhetoric. But the overriding quest for peace and stability has dominated every American presidential administration I have studied and known,” the former statesman said.
“No doubt, the president-elect is a personality for whom there is no precedent in modern American history,” Kissinger added from the podium in Oslo.
In his speech, Kissinger pointed out four trends that may lead to greater conflicts and greater challenges during Trump’s presidency.
The worsening of relations between the US and China, and the breakdown in relations between Russia and the West were cited as the biggest challenges. In addition, the weakening of Europe’s strategic importance and an escalation of conflicts in the Middle East, were named as the biggest threats to world peace.
As a former secretary of state, Kissinger, reminded delegates present that the US leadership has always been influential when it comes to world order, and that Trump is no exception.
“Many of the contemporary structures of peace have had either American support or American origin,” Kissinger said. “I hope and believe that in the decades ahead, the United States will continue to fulfill its history and tradition of building world peace.”
This is not the first time that Kissinger has defended the upcoming 45th president, after the two met at least twice this year – one time during the presidential race in May, and the second time in November after Trump’s victory.
In an interview with CNN in November, Kissinger urged Americans to give Donald Trump a chance, calling him the “most unique” presidential figure in his lifetime.
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