Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Trump must address Obama's withdrawal from world stage, says Kissinger

Win McNamee | Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump must address the perception that President Obama has withdrawn America from the world stage, said Henry Kissinger, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.

The former U.S. secretary of state commented on the reality and perception of the outgoing president's foreign policy feats.

"One of the major achievements or impacts of President Obama was to withdraw America from some positions in which it was overextended but also to create the feel that America was withdrawing from the world even from places in which over extension would not apply and in which its contribution remains essential," began Kissinger, in conversation with World Economic Forum founder, Klaus Schwab before giving his advice to the incoming leader of the world's largest economy.

"So President Trump will have to find a definition of the American role that answers the concern of many parts of the world that America was giving up its indispensable role of leadership in some categories - and major contribution in others - and to define what and where America can lead and where it must contribute and in that process help in the creation of an international order."

Turning to China, Kissinger described President Xi Jinping's speech earlier in the week at Davos as being one of "fundamental significance" saying it laid out a concept of globalization.

"To me the most important aspect was that it was an assertion by China of participating in the construction of an international order," he opined.

"One of the key problems of our period is that the international order with which we were familiar is disintegrating in some respects and new elements from Asia and the developing world are entering it," he continued.

"What President Xi has done is to put forward a concept of international order in the economic field that will have to be the subject of conversation and the substance of the creation of an evolving system," the career diplomat finished.

Moving onto Russia, Kissinger confirmed that he agreed with Donald Trump's "general attitude" which he described as less confrontational and more political.

"I hope that an effort will be made for a serious dialogue which tries to avoid the drift towards confrontation and in which Europe, America and Russia come to some agreement about the limits within which military pressure is carried out," Kissinger outlined.

"That is what I think one of the major tasks of the new administration," he contended.

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