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Trump’s Foreign Policy Challenges - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Washington- President-elect Donald Trump and his team face a series of world challenges when he takes office in January.

The decisions that Trump would take could either lead to major diplomatic achievements or harmful crises.

Among his main challenges is the war in Syria.

According to analysts, Russian President Vladimir Putin considers Trump’s conciliatory tone a green light to continue his support to the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Assad, in the more than five-year war.

The first challenge for Trump would be having to choose between rapprochement with Russia or letting Moscow back the regime or the Syrian opposition as President Barack Obama did to pressure Assad into leaving power in return for a diplomatic settlement.

During an interview on Tuesday with reporters, editors and opinion columnists from The New York Times, Trump avoided to respond to a question on Syria. He only said he will work to stop the bloodshed there.

Another challenge for Trump is North Korea. As for the nuclear deal with Iran, it is equally challenging.

During his campaign, Trump described the nuclear agreement as disastrous and said it would be his “number one priority” to dismantle it.

The deal was struck in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—plus Germany) and the European Union.

Some of its signatories could reject to withdraw from the deal. And if Trump takes such a move, Iran could consider it a hostile act and resume its nuclear program unrestrained.

The fourth challenge is Ukraine. Trump’s inclination to cooperate with Russia hints that the president-elect will not interfere in the Ukraine war.

This raises fears of renewed fighting in Ukraine, which could ask for U.S. political, military and diplomatic assistance and call for new sanctions against Russia.

If such a scenario takes place, Trump’s administration will have to face the challenge of backing Ukraine while avoiding a proxy war with Russia.

Trump’s last challenge will be managing trade with China.

Analysts fear a trade war between the two biggest economies in the world and a possible clash in the financial markets as a result of Trump’s promises to scrap trade deals and to impose taxes on Chinese imports.