Beware of campaign promises on the Middle East

Despite the rhetoric, president-elect is likely to follow Obama’s lead in the region, writes Lina Khatib

The World Today Published 9 December 2016 Updated 26 November 2020 3 minute READ

Focus on domestic issues, not foreign policy, marked the electoral campaign of President-elect Donald Trump. Even his victory speech on November 9 was notably devoid of references to countries outside the United States. Trump’s campaign was also punctuated by inflammatory statements, such as those about Muslims and Mexicans, that hinted at increased American isolationism and suggested a radical break with the Obama administration. All this has led to speculation about what president Trump’s policy for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region might be. Some projections may prove to be well grounded. But over-reliance on campaign rhetoric to predict political behaviour may create false expectations.

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