Foreign minister Jean Asselborn pictured in May 2019
Photo: Matic Zorman
“Four years of disaster in all these areas were four years too many,” foreign minister Jean Asselborn summed up Donald Trump’s US presidency during a speech in parliament on Wednesday.
Asselborn (LSAP) delivered his annual foreign policy speech to members of parliament on 11 November, touching on a wide range of topics from EU cooperation and the rule of law to relations with Turkey, the ongoing conflict in Syria and the coronavirus crisis.
He also said the outcome of the US elections was of “utmost importance for the whole world.” America had elected a president who will want to bring countries together, maintain “cultivated” relations with other countries and be committed to international law, he said.
Asselborn likened US president Trump’s track record in these areas as “four years of disaster”, saying voters had clearly chosen change. There would be “new energy” in transatlantic relations with the US under president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris, Asselborn said.
“I am confident that, as Europeans, we will be able to re-establish a relationship of trust with our new US partners,” the foreign minister said, adding this was important for common challenges such as climate change, trade, security and disarmament.
But Asselborn also warned that it will be crucial for the EU to speak with one voice, slamming Slovenian prime minister Janez Janša, who had congratulated Trump on his election win before millions of votes had been counted.
“This is not only a sign of wrong solidarity in the wrong moment, but it shows that there are governments in the EU who consciously ignore the basic rules of democracy,” Asselborn said, adding that this was “unworthy” of the EU.