From the editor's desk

A final curveball from Obama

04 January 2017


Given the toxic tone of so much political discourse in 2016, the last gestures of the Obama administration should have come as no surprise. Barack Obama has left a diplomatic minefield for his successor Donald Trump. It appears designed to annoy not only the President-elect but also the two world leaders – President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – for whom Mr Trump has expressed his most controversial admiration.

Both President Putin and Mr Trump made light of the expulsions of 35 Russian diplomats by the United States in retaliation for alleged cyber attacks on the Democratic Party leadership before the November election. The consequences of the US refusal to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, condemning Israeli settlement activity, could be more immediate.

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