Monkey see, monkey do. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton set up a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for Monday, September 19th while world leaders are in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.
Then, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump set up a meeting with the Egyptian president as well.
Clinton however, will also meet with several other heads of state.
As President Barack Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. She will do so again on Monday.
As a foreign policy novice (to say the least) Trump is expected to use the meeting with Egypt’s President al-Sisi to look more presidential in the eyes of American voters.
However, according to Donald Trump he’s met with several world leaders already. Except, he won’t tell us who.
Trump told Fox News this:
“I will say that with all the folks being in New York, I’ve had a lot of calls from a lot of different people on the basis that I’m doing well and, you know, they seem to think it’s important to maybe meet. I don’t want to comment specifically on who but a couple of people are coming over.”
Later in the interview he said:
“I’ve already met with a couple.”
So far he has refused to say which world leaders he’s already met with.
Clinton, in contrast, will use the three meetings with Poroshenko, Abe, and al-Sisi, to stress her ability to dish diplomacy on an international stage. After all, she has 3o years of experience doing exactly that.
Additionally, her meetings will be watched closely in other parts of the world to see how she would handle foreign policy if she were to be president.
Let’s make no mistake, Clinton’s meetings were announced before Trump’s. These meetings will certainly put Clinton’s diplomacy
on display. It’s also a preparation of sorts for Clinton so she can hit the ground running if (when) she wins the White House.
For example, Clinton’s meeting with Ukraine’s Poroshenko will highlight the differences between Clinton’s and Trump’s policy toward Moscow. Russia annexed
Crimea in the Ukraine in 2014 which the US is not in favor of. There is also the issue of Trump’s man-crush on Putin.
As for the meeting with Egypt’s President al-Sisi, the differences are sure to be stark. Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country. The leadership and their people have bristled with disdain for Trump’s suggestion he would ban all visitors from Muslim countries were he to become the American president.
Clinton’s meeting with Japan’s leader Abe comes at a time when tensions are high in Asia. North Korea has just conducted their latest nuclear weapons test. Many are worried that a Trump presidency could threaten US allies in the region.
Most notably because Trump has warned surrounding nations they will have to pay more to keep US forces within their countries if he takes the election.
This is a real problem, since it could raise the possibility of other countries developing their own nuclear weapons
. Just another reason why Trump can not take the White House.
Feature image screenshots of both Clinton
by US State Dept. via Flickrand available under U.S. government works