On July 11, US President Donald Trump nominated David Hale to be undersecretary of state for political affairs – the third highest ranking position at the State Department.
Hale is a career diplomat. Since 2015, he has been the ambassador to Pakistan. Previously Hale served in Lebanon (2013-2015) and Jordan (2005-2008).
His nomination is still needed to be confirmed by the Senate foreign relations committee.
At this very moment, acting undersecretary of state for political affairs is Stephen Mull. In contrary to Hale, Mull spent his previous years in Poland (2012-2015) and Lithuania (2003-2006).
The nomination of Hale signs that the situation in the Middle East becomes one of the key factros in the US foreign policy. It also took place ahead of an announced meeting between President Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Despite this, the US official rhetorics toward the Russian role in Europe remains not very friendly.
On July 11, Trump said that Russia uses gas supplies to control Germany and criticized NATO member states that approved the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.
“Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia. They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia,” Trump said at a breakfast with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
Trump’s remarks are caused by Germany’s decision to ignore the US pressure and to approve the Nord Stream 2 construction project.