In a departure from the previous government, the Trump administration has said it will raise human rights issues with the countries concerned privately as it is “the most effective way” to deal with it. “Human rights are always an issue of concern to the United States and they’re first and foremost in our discussions,” a senior White House official said. “Our approach is to handle these types of sensitive issues in a private, more discrete way. We believe it’s the most effective way to advance those issues to a favourable outcome,” the official said yesterday.
The official was responding to a question if human rights would be an issue that could be raised during the visit of the leaders from Egypt and Jordan next week. The answer from the administration official was general in nature reflecting the policy of the Trump administration. But this was a departure from the administration of Barack Obama which had on several occasions made human rights the most potent vehicle of America’s public diplomacy and at times even publicly mentioned a country to name and shame it.
Under the Obama administration, the US had often expressed concern over rights violations in China. Obama and his two Secretaries of States – Hillary Clinton and John Kerry – included this in their public remarks every time they met a Chinese leader. The remarks from the White House come ahead of the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Florida next week.
Under Obama administration India was also targeted on rights situation. Obama had mentioned the issue when he made his second visit to India in January 2015 as the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade that year.