Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Harper's Undiplomatic Behavior

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on a trade mission in Brazil right now. He caused a bit of a diplomatic problem by acting like a five year old. Here is my rough translation/paraphrase of the story as reported in a Brazilian Newspaper.

The Original is here.

Title: Canadian Prime Minister goes to the bathroom waiting for demands to be met.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has caused an embarrassment in Brazilian diplomacy on Monday, demanding a change in the protocol and only going to the banquet hall for lunch with the President, after meeting President Dilma Roussef first.

Speeches and toasts are common in this type of event, and can be both before and after lunch. Dilma preferred them later, but Harper made sure they were done before the guests start eating at the meeting yesterday. He did not explain why.

He had already angered aides and diplomats at the Presidential Palace, telling reporters that he would speak there, breaking the rule that such interviews always occur in the Foreign Ministry.

Brazil denied this request. Harper then went to the Foreign Ministry, for lunch, visible angry, and demanding the cancellation of the of the toasts. Then he locked himself in the private bathroom of Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota while waiting for an answer.

Bewildered, Brazilian diplomats did not know what to do, whether to heed the wishes of the Brazilian President, or surrender to the whims of the Canadian Prime Minister.

Only when it was confirmed that he would be obliged, did Harper proceed to the hall where the banquet took place. Lunch was palm heart salad, guinea hen and "pineapple delight". Toasts were made with wines.

Although the Canadian Embassy was surprised by these events, they confirmed the story with the diplomats who were at lunch, and who were in agreement with the distress of their (Brazilian) colleagues, who tried to resolve the impasse.

The lunch was scheduled for 1PM, and the next meeting of the President was the induction of former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim as new defense minister.

Corrections appreciated.

Please recommend this post

No comments: