Hints of new world order must await Tillerson-Lavrov meeting

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Published: February 4, 2017 2:25:58 PM

Pundits in Washington are beginning to hope for continuity in US foreign policy under Donald Trump. For their optimism, they are falling back on hints from the new administration.

Pundits,Washington,Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, ISIS, US ambassador, Nikki Haley, Moscow,West Asia, Crimea,  Tillerson-Lavrov Pundits in Washington are beginning to hope for continuity in US foreign policy under Donald Trump.(Reuters)

Pundits in Washington are beginning to hope for continuity in US foreign policy under Donald Trump. For their optimism, they are falling back on hints from the new administration.

Look, they say, Israel is being warned to curb settlement construction; Russians must withdraw from Crimea; Iran is on notice: no more missile tests.

If this, indeed, were true then the skirmishes between the intelligence community and the Trump campaign which continued well into the President’s inauguration would appear to have been settled in favour of the agencies, the Deep State, with the media in tow.

If the Washington Pundits are anywhere near the truth, it may please them to know they are in company. Syrian President Bashar al Assad declared a week ago that he expected “no change in US policy towards Middle East”.

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What then does one make of the allegation which Trump repeated at least since August 2016: “Obama and Hillary founded ISIS?” This reporter has written several stories since 2012 about US ambassador in Damascus, Robert Stephen Ford, a great favourite of Hillary Clinton, playing an overt role in the Syrian insurgency. Some of it was eyewitness account.

More recently, Trump has reiterated that he hopes for friendlier relations with Putin. He looked forward to greater cooperation with Moscow in managing the chaos in West Asia.

Is there a contradiction between this line and the new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warning Moscow on Crimea?

These are significant signals but they will be fitted into coordinated policy only after the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, finds his feet in the State Department. Until then even National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn’s tough statement on Iran must be seen as premature. It may point to some turf fights that will keep the White House abuzz for some time.

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