US President Barack Obama attended APEC for the last time.
By HASSAN FATHI: Eight years after, he will soon relinquish the White House to President-elect Donald Trump. It’s a time of heightened uncertainty in America and around the world – what course of action will Trump take? He has already issued a notice of intent: Washington will scrap the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Obama, meanwhile, also traveled to Europe to consult with Washington’s allies. Eight years in the White House, first black president: Ominous – it bore fruit for Washington and the world. The Democratic president was faithful to his principles but his successor might repudiate or steer a different course: He continued, nevertheless, on the same path and refused to budge.
Obama was always ready to listen during his eight years’ reign – and talk. He has many diplomatic successes to his name. Washington has cut down on its military presence across the world during these eight years. His presidency was praised by both Democrats and Conservatives during the presidential elections.
Intermittent crises cropped in his dealings with Iran but generally speaking, moderation was the rule: Much less turbulent than when George W. Bush the younger was president. Telephone conversations with the Iranian President and inking the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action meant that trade barriers with Iran were removed. The two embarked on a new era of understanding and cooperation.
The presidency of Trump will, first and foremost, focus on US interests. Relations with Iran face some pitfalls: That’s not to say that things would have been different if Hillary Clinton from the Democratic camp were in the White House: Stark differences do exist.
Overall, Obama’s policy towards Iran was positive, harmonious, based on dialogue not conflict.