NATO conference cancelled following US Embassy’s decision to bar speaker - The Post

NATO conference cancelled following US Embassy’s decision to bar speaker

Trump critic publishes speech online in aftermath of episode

Carla Sands laid down a veto on Stanley Sloan (photo: US Embassy)
December 10th, 2019 9:11 am| by Soma Biro

Today’s 70th anniversary NATO conference has been cancelled due to disagreements over one of its scheduled speakers. The conference was supposed to take place in Frederiksberg.

The subject of the dispute was a man named Stanley Sloan – an American researcher, NATO expert and vocal Trump critic. His spot at the conference wasn’t well received by the US ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands. According to the Danish Atlantic Council, which arranged the conference in collaboration with the US Embassy, Sands was worried about the speaker and wanted to cancel his address.

We had no worries
Dr Lars Bangert Struwe, the secretary general of the Danish Atlantic Council, told TV2 that they were well aware of Sloan’s critical views on the US president and asked him to focus on NATO instead of American politics.

“We have always know that Mr Sloan has a critical approach towards President Donald Trump. That is no secret – especially when you look at his Twitter and Facebook profiles. However, we have never doubted that Mr Sloan would deliver an unpolitical and objective lecture at our conference. He made us that promise,” said Struwe.

Long-distance censorship
But the US ambassador wouldn’t give way and demanded that Sloan’s involvement be cancelled. Sloan tweeted that he is “stunned and worried about our country”. As the embassy was the co-organiser and sponsor of the event, the Danish Atlantic Council had no other choice but to pull the plug.

“After serious consideration, we have decided not to proceed with the conference. The progress of the process has become too problematic; and therefore, we cannot participate in the conference, let alone ask our speakers to participate,” asserted Struwe.

A lack of respect
In reference to the American Embassy, Struwe told TV2: “When two parties collaborate, they need to respect one another.” He also said that the council didn’t wish to be dragged into a situation, along with other presenters, where they would have to answer more questions about the cancellation of the Sloan conference than about NATO.

Much ado about nothing… or?
In the end, Sloan shared his speech online. According to Niels-Ole Mannerup, the executive officer at the council, there was not much for the embassy to worry about as “in his speech, Mr Sloan wanted to commend Ambassador Carla Sands for her expression of support for the values on which the alliance is based as well as its strategic importance for both Denmark and the United States. And overall, I do not see any direct or concealed attacks on President Donald Trump.”

However, Sloan does, in fact, mention Trump 14 times, claims that EU security has worsened since the infamous commander-in-chief took office, and questions whether the businessman turned president really intends to change transatlantic relations. The entire speech can be found on Sloan’s Facebook page.