OPEN LETTER TO DONALD TRUMP

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To:    President Donald Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re:       Ethiopia-US relations:

Mr. President,

I find it difficult to identify the type of language and style of communication that appeal to your Excellency’s taste. I recognize though how a straight shooter you are who uses diplomatically unusual vocabularies. I also acknowledge that trying to appease your presidency with diplomatic jargons would be hypocritical. Hence, please allow me to be candid and straight forward, and sometimes harsh, in this communique. I apologize in advance if you find the letter unpalatable to you and your administration.

It is inconceivable that your presidency is clocking three solid years since you swore into office uttering, under Oath, “so help me God” to serve the United States of America. Whatever your oath of office means to you, however, the internationally community still remains confused by the decision of the American people voting you in to occupy the august office-the White House. Shakespeare said “…people get the government they deserve”. So long as America believes in democracy, Americans deserve to have your government. There are no regrets to the consequences of democracy.

Over the past three and half years your foreign policy, international diplomacy and domestic measures have been judged as ill-advised and short-sighted. Your inability to govern which is canvassed by ignorance and bullish behaviors of your presidency has tarnished America’s global might and image. Your statements and actions nosedived the respect that America used to enjoy as a superpower. America is heading towards a path of a weak nation of invalidity.

You may not understand that the onus of global supremacy is shifting from the US to emerging powers of China, Russia and Iran. Unfortunately, the short sightedness of your administration is costing not only your country but also your closest and likeminded allies such as Canada, EU and NATO member countries. For example, your unwarranted economic and political raw with China and Huawei of China has endangered Canada’s social, economic and technological future by putting Canada at loggerheads with the economic giant, China.

Recent accusations of China on the Corona Virus led you to believe Taiwan as an independent nation. You don’t seem to realize that President Nixon had ratified Taiwan as one of China’s provinces when he declared a one China policy in 1979.

I am not sure whether you are fully aware that US, as a member of the United Nations, recognizes Taiwan as an integral part of China. It is this ignorance of bliss that led you to clash with the World Health Organization (WHO) where you cutoff US funding to the multilateral organization at a critical time of a global pandemic. It is sad to see and hear that your ill thought decisions have no bounds.

Recently, you have also decided to intervene on the Ethiopia and Egypt row over the hydropower dam that Ethiopia is building on Abbay (Nile). You hijacked the tripartite discussions and stick your-self and your Secretary of Treasury.  Surprisingly, far from the diplomatic norms of negotiation, your Treasury Secretary and you have tried to dictate the terms and conditions of the negotiations by twisting Ethiopia’s hands to accept an agreement which was favorable to Egypt. Please note that Ethiopia has never caved into any European colonial ambition during the 19th century scramble for Africa and it won’t be cowed by America’ neo-colonialism mentality in the 21st century either.

Thanks to the African Union that brought the first phase of the tripartite political negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to amicable conclusion a couple of weeks ago. While the three countries continue detailing the technical aspects of the agreement, Ethiopia has successfully completed the 1st filling of its Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), a lynch pin of economic and social transformation two weeks ago. Following the filling of the dam, jubilation engulfed the over 110 million Ethiopians igniting their hopes for a better future.

Mr. President,

As Ethiopians are engulfed in jubilation, your administration is threatening to cut off economic aid to Ethiopia https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/07/22/trump-administration-africa-aid-ethiopia-egypt-gerd-nile-sudan-dispute-negotiations/ similar to that of the WHO. This could be a true testament of your administration’s wickedness and desire to halt Ethiopia’s effort of fighting poverty and underdevelopment. Mr. president, we urge you in earnest to stop meddling in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. Any roadblock envisaged against Ethiopia’s aspirations of defeating poverty has nothing to do with your mantra of “making America great again”.

I am one of the million Ethiopians who express concern on U.S.’s desire to cut off economic aid, and obstructing Ethiopia’s access to multilateral loans with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It is advisable for your presidency to refrain from hurting the long-standing Ethiopia-US relations that has been in stellar condition for 120 years now. At a time when the global community is joining hands to fight the deadly COVID-19 we need more cooperation and understanding among nations and not confrontation and coercion.

Thank you,

Semaneh T. Jemere
Ottawa, ON K1H 6H8, Canada
Email: stjtamrat@hotmail.com
Tel: +1-613-796-6196

Cc:       Michael R. Pence

Vice President of the United States
Secretary Steven Mnuchin
United States Department of the Treasury
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
United States Department of State
Mr. Gedu Andargachew
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia