2018 Leaders mince no words
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

From US President Trump crying hoarse over the trade war with China to Germany’s Merkel quitting her CDU party post with dignity, world leaders spoke their minds during the past year. UK’s May warned about uncertainty if the Brexit deal failed and President Putin spoke on US internal politics impacting ties with Russia. Pakistan’s Imran Khan offered to improve ties with India. Here’s what they said:

We see that there are forces in the United States that are prepared to casually sacrifice Russian-US relations, to sacrifice them for their ambitions in an internal political battle in the United States.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking to Russian diplomats after the Helsinki Summit

We should pay greater attention to the interests of other countries while pursuing our own. Our enterprises must give greater importance to their good reputation in their global activities, while seeking their investment returns.

- Chinese President Xi Jinping said during his visit to the UAE

China doesn’t want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade, we are winning at every level. We don’t want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election.

- US President Donald Trump during the Congressional election rally

I said sorry, God. If God is taken in a generic term by everybody listening then that’s well and good.

- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after he said he will resign if anybody can prove that God exists

We want to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. If India takes one step forward, then we will take two steps forward toward friendship.

- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said after opening a border crossing with India for Sikh pilgrims in Punjab

We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon us and a wonderful dawn has arrived.

- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in parliament during the annual State of the Nation address

You can see them rise a bit like leprosy all across Europe, in countries where we thought that would be impossible to see them again ... They’re saying the worst things, and we’re getting used to it. They’re making provocations.

- French President Emmanuel Macron about North African refugees