Chmelar: Trump Shocks UN, Kiska Wastes Opportunity to Respond

0
65
Juraj Hrabko (L) and Eduard Chmelar at Tablet.tv

Bratislava, September 23 (TASR) – No one in the history of UN – not even dictators or communist leaders such as Nikita Khrushchev who banged his shoe against desk or Muammar al-Gaddafi who tore UN Charter to pieces – has ever dared to threaten a country with total destruction before the UN General Assembly the way US President Donald Trump did on Tuesday (September 19), political analyst Eduard Chmelar said on Tablet.tv talk show on late Friday.

“He wasn’t threatening the regime of North Korea, but the country per se. And that’s absolutely unacceptable. It wasn’t a buzz but rather a collective shock that was elicited by his speech among delegates,” said Chmelar.

“It is customary for American presidents to outline global tasks for next year in their speeches. This speech of Donald Trump was partly geared towards his voters. He was talking about things that had no business being there; he talked about America. And he often contradicted himself,” claimed Chmelar.

This view was echoed also by publicist Juraj Hrabko, also on the show. “Such a speech has never been delivered before, but then UN was never addressed by US President Donald Trump before. It’s unlikely that he would ever change. He hasn’t learned anything since taking over his office and he seems to be perennially stuck in election campaign,” he thinks.

Due to the fact that Slovakia serves as presiding country at the UN General Assembly session, the speech of Slovak President Andrej Kiska followed closely after Trump’s. Kiska thus had an opportunity to respond to Donald Trump’s words but chose not to, pointed out Chmelar. It was only when speaking to the media later that Kiska claimed Donald Trump’s rhetoric was too strong and that UN should address problems collectively.

“President Kiska tacitly looked the other way, ignoring Trump’s gaffe while being too harsh on Russia. He hasn’t said anything that could draw attention to this country or his person. He just gave a perfunctory speech,” said Chmelar.

Hrabko responded by saying that UN speeches are not made on an ad-lib basis but rather drafted long beforehand and the President likely hadn’t consulted his position on Trump’s remarks with his team by then, so he chose to avoid them. Hrabko concluded with Chmelar, however, that it is in Slovakia’s interest to cultivate good relations with Russia, although he wouldn’t hold the criticism of problems in Ukraine against the Slovak President.

Hrabko believes that regardless of any cooperation with Russia, it is necessary to condemn the annexation of Crimea frequently.

Chmelar considers the speech of Andrej Kiska a “squandered opportunity”. “I’d like to praise the fact that he mentioned the issue of climate change for the first time. But the rest was nothing but platitudes and cliches. When you have a chance to address the world, it is useless to regurgitate as a satellite [state] what the great powers would say anyway. It is useless to call upon North Korea to disarm. And it is counterproductive on such occasion to “poke” Russia. Not that there aren’t things to criticise Russia for, but I found it completely unnecessary in the given context.”

Chmelar added that it is certainly in Slovakia’s interest to see the conflict between Russia and Ukraine resolved, but Bratislava will hardly contribute towards any resolution with biased rhetoric. “Slovakia enjoys excellent relations with Ukraine and good ties with Russia. But the President unilaterally calls Russia an enemy one time and then an aggressor the other time. Andrej Kiska hasn’t accomplished anything as President yet,” concluded Chmelar.