Friday, May 19, 2017

A friend in need

Irish Times Suzanne Lynch, part of the Irish-only chorus of criticism of Enda Kenny's St Patrick's Day visit to Washington DC --

Rather than stand up to Trump, the Taoiseach was surprisingly obsequious. He decided to invite Trump to Ireland – and while this has been spun as a given, it was a choice. He didn’t have to – German chancellor Angela Merkel for example didn’t invite him back to Berlin. It’s all the more peculiar given that the Taoiseach will no longer be in situ if and when the visit takes place. The bonhomie and banter displayed between the two men was excruciating – the contrast between Merkel’s formal dignified body language when she met Trump the following day and the back-slapping of the Irish couldn’t have been starker.

New York Times Peter Baker on how foreign leaders and diplomats have learned to indulge Trump --

Ms. Merkel invited Ms. Trump [Ivanka] to Germany to join a panel on women’s entrepreneurship. Ms. Merkel has also learned the value of simply staying in touch. While her meeting at the White House with Mr. Trump included an awkward photo opportunity that suggested coolness, she has kept in regular contact. When she planned to travel to Saudi Arabia last month, she called Mr. Trump first, ostensibly to ask his advice — counsel that after 12 years in office she hardly needed from a diplomatic novice.

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