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Trump difficult to predict, experts say

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Prague, Jan 20 (CTK) – It is impossible to guess from the statements of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump how he will behave while in office, some Czech experts have told CTK.
Other experts expect Trump, who will be inaugurated later Friday, to adopt a more pragmatic approach to foreign policy than that of outgoing President Barack Obama.
“Much will depend on the first year of his administration, the way he will outline the home and foreign policy concepts and what assistants he will choose,” the former Czech ambassador to the USA and aide to former president Vaclav Havel, Michael Zantovsky, said.
“Much will also depend on whether he will be able to get along with other power pillars of the U.S. policy, the Congress in particular as it plays a tremendous role, and in some disputed cases, also with the U.S. Supreme Court,” he added.
Another Czech former ambassador to the USA, Petr Kolar, said Trump still had not defined his foreign policy and it could not be guessed what would be his approach to the world.
“I am full of expectations. I wonder how this will develop,” he added.
Some nominations Trump has made, such as that of General James Mattis as the secretary of defence, Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, and Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, are not bad, Kolar said.
A problem may appear in Trump’s attitude to Europe. “Trump is likely not to have the slightest idea of European history, not understanding what the European project means,” he added.
Kolar said it was bad that Trump welcomed the Brexit, having spoken about the departure of other EU members.
“I do not know whether he realises what specters he is raising,” he added.
“He will be a leader who will not pursue as reluctant policy as Barack Obama. I think that he has a chance of influencing the U.S. authority and impact in the world,” Alexandr Vondra, another former Czech ambassador to the USA, said.
“Since he is a businessman, values will matter less to the benefit of interests and transactions. It is vital for Europe to be thoroughly prepared,” Vondra said.
Analyst Roman Joch shares the view.
“Trump’s foreign policy will be the most important affair for the Czech Republic. I think that it will be purely realistic, which means the use of power. It will not have the ambition of spreading democracy and human rights abroad,” Joch said.
“He will be tougher in China and Iran than Obama and friendlier towards Israel. When it comes to Russia, he will try to improve the relations,” Joch said.
He said he presumed Trump to accept the Russian dominance in Syria and demand in exchange that Russia stop its power ambitions in the Baltics.
pv/dr/hol

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