On 20th January, 2017, the world saw the United States swearing in its 45th President, Donald Trump. This event resulted in conflicted emotions, not only in the United States itself, but also across the world. Trump had been no stranger to controversy, as prior to being elected as President of the United States, he had proposed a ban on Muslims entering America, erecting a wall between America and Mexico to keep out illegals, and lots more. His commencement of office was met with protests by many Americans and skepticism by other world leaders. President Trump’s seat in the Oval Office in 2017 has triggered several events that has impacted both Americans and the global population. President Trump had pushed for a travel ban on individuals from majority Muslim countries, threatened war with North Korea on several occasions, on both the United Nations General Assembly pulpit and on his favourite social media channel, Twitter, pulled out of major treaties, including the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, implemented budget cuts in America, and more. His tone does not seem to be taking a different approach in 2018, as it seems to be getting more aggressive and provocative.
Nawaz Sharif’s Removal from Office
On 28th July, 2017, Nawaz Sharif was removed
from office by Pakistan’s supreme court over the corruption allegations revealed by the Panama Papers leak. The court reached a unanimous verdict, resulting in Sharif stepping down as Prime Minister. Sharif maintained his innocence, triggering his famous “Mujhe Kyun Nikala”(why was I ousted?) statement, that had resulted in many parodies in Pakistan. It seems as if Pakistan will not be moving on from this drama anytime soon, as the matter has carried on into the brand new year as well.
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe Deposed
On 21st November, 2017, Robert Mugabe, who had been sitting in a position of power for 37 years, resigned from his presidency following an impending impeachment triggered by a military coup, which was strangely enough described to be “not a military takeover” by the military. Military leaders, officials and soldiers were seen and pictured being on friendly terms with Mugabe, and despite being on house arrest, he was seen at public engagements. The entire crisis sent Zimbabwe’s economy into a turmoil, which saw many investors dumping Zimbabwean stocks. The removal of Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe was met with conflicting responses, as while there were many who praised him to be a revolutionary hero of Africa, he was also labelled as a dictator who had violated human rights and suppressed political criticism against him and his party. It was reported that Mugabe will be receiving a ‘golden handshake’ to the tune of 10 million USD, a monthly salary during his lifetime, protection of his assets and even full medical coverage.
United States’ Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
On 6th December, 2017, President Donald Trump made the announcement that the United States had made the decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that it will be relocating their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This was met with a major backlash across the globe as Jerusalem is a contested city between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as the latter had held hopes of establishing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. His announcement shattered hopes for a two-state solution and resulted in mayhem across Palestinian cities and across the world. Many world leaders, including Britain’s Theresa May and France’s Emmanuel Macron, did not agree with Trump’s stance, indicating that his move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a wrong one. However, Trump did not back down on his position and instead had threatened countries who went against his decision on the matter.
United Nations’ vote against United States’ Decision on the Status of Jerusalem
On 21st December, 2017, 128 countries voted against the United States move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the United Nations. Nine countries voted in agreement, and another 35 countries abstained. This was a big blow to the United States on an international platform, especially after the threats that President Trump and US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had placed to the international community. Haley had said that the United States will be “taking names” of those who voted against the United States and Donald Trump and that her country will “think twice about funding the world body”, while the President himself had said that the United States will cut aid to those countries which went against his decision.