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When plain-speaking Trump(s) diplomatese

With straight-talking leaders, gratuitous obfuscation is in danger of extinction.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 19, 2019, 10.36 AM IST
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Trump's recent ‘candid’ letter to Turkish President Recep Erdog proves, of course, that the US president writes his own letters and does not tolerate editing or any advice to add a few gratuitous diplomatic niceties.
There is no reason to believe that US President Donald Trump will ever succumb to any of the practices that protocol demands of his office. He has hired and fired senior administration members with as much alacrity as his time on a reality TV show, and his official and electoral speeches have also not been notable for erudition or sophistication.

The Donald clearly does not mince words and his unfamiliarity with — and contempt for — diplomatese is now legendary. Hence, his recent ‘candid’ letter to Turkish President Recep Erdog an is par for the course — as, indeed, is its reported binning by the latter. After all, no leader likes to be referred to as a possible devil, not to mention a fool. It also proves, of course, that the US president writes his own letters and does not tolerate editing or any advice to add a few gratuitous diplomatic niceties.

More and more world leaders are displaying increasing annoyance with calibrated diplomatese, from UK’s Boris Johnson and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, who was, ironically, awarded an honorary PhD in diplomacy earlier this month by Moscow State University. The whole structure of international relations — which thrives on obliqueness and opacity — stands to become considerably weakened by this alarming trend of plain-speaking leaders.

Trump Isn't The First! Here Are Other US Presidents Caught In Lawsuits

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The Other Side

19 Mar, 2018
Donald Trump is being sued by a former porn actress over a “hushed settlement” about their relationship. Trump, however, is not the first US President at the end of litigations.
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