diplomatic drama
July 11, 2018

A former NATO secretary-general doesn't think President Trump's complaints are unfounded.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former prime minister of Denmark who headed up the defense alliance for five years, tweeted support for Trump on Wednesday, saying the American president "has a point" with his gripes about the organization.

"German taxpayers reluctant to pay for the southern Eurozone should understand why U.S. taxpayers question paying more for Europe's defense," he wrote, defending Trump's demands that other NATO members increase their defense spending. Trump accused Germany of being "captive to Russia," while German officials condemned his dismissal of the agreement.

Rasmussen linked to an article in which he called increased spending from European allies a step "in the right direction," calling on Europe to "learn to take care of itself." The former NATO chief struck quite a different tone than his successor, who delivered a zinger against Trump after a tense group breakfast. While others are calling Trump's approach akin to "defecating all over everything," Rasmussen is giving the president the benefit of the doubt, calling it merely "unorthodox." Summer Meza

October 15, 2017

"Iran's great nation witnessed that for the first time the U.S. stands against an international multilateral treaty, but other world powers and the European Union immediately stand against the U.S. [and not Iran]," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in response to President Trump's Friday announcement that he would not again certify Tehran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

"Today, the U.S. is lonelier than ever in opposing the nuclear agreement and in its conspiracies against the Iranian nation," added Rouhani, a moderate re-elected this year on a reform platform. Russia likewise condemned Trump's decision as dangerous and unprovoked.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, European leaders broke with Trump on the Iran deal issue without directly condemning his decision. The agreement "was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step toward ensuring that Iran's nuclear [program] is not diverted for military purposes," said a joint statement from British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirming their commitment to the deal "and its full implementation by all sides." Bonnie Kristian

March 20, 2017

After the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand told police they would not be allowed to interview a diplomat involved in a mysterious incident earlier this month, the staffer was expelled from the country.

Whatever happened took place on March 12 outside Wellington, the BBC reports. While police won't give any details and U.S. officials have only confirmed that the unidentified diplomat left on Saturday, New Zealand Radio says he departed the country with a black eye and broken nose. The 1961 Vienna Convention gives all diplomatic staff working in New Zealand immunity from prosecution, but the foreign ministry says it will pulll immunity "if there are allegations of serious crimes."

The U.S. Embassy said it doesn't comment on matters under investigation, but it takes "seriously any suggestion that our staff has fallen short of the high standards of conduct expected of U.S. government personnel." Catherine Garcia

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