The US ambassador to Denmark banned an American NATO expert from criticizing President Trump for speaking at an international conference organized by the US embassy and a group of Danish experts, which caused the event to be canceled, organizers said.
The expert, Stanley R. Sloan, planned to deliver a keynote address at the conference, celebrating NATO's 70th anniversary, on Tuesday.
Mr. Sloan, a visiting scholar at Middlebury College in Vermont, a member of the Atlantic Council and a former analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, planned to talk about the future of transatlantic relations.
The day before leaving for Copenhagen, Sloan was informed that the US Embassy in Copenhagen had vetoed his participation due to his previous criticism of President Trump, Sloan said on Facebook on Saturday.
Carla Sands, the United States ambassador to Denmark, did not want Mr. Sloan to participate, and the Danish Atlantic Council "had no choice,quot; but to revoke his invitation to speak, Lars Bangert Struwe, the secretary general of the council, He said in a statement.
On Sunday morning, Mr. Struwe canceled the NATO conference.
"After serious consideration, we have decided not to continue with the conference," he said. said on twitter. “The progress of the process has become too problematic; and therefore, we cannot participate in the conference, let alone ask our speakers to participate. "
From a Danish point of view, the decision to ban Mr. Sloan would change the focus of the conference towards US domestic politics and away from the future of NATO, Struwe said in an interview on Sunday. There were 12 people scheduled to speak, and about 100 attendees were expected, he said.
"We have always known that Sloan has a critical approach to President Donald Trump," Struwe said in the statement. “That is no secret, especially when you follow your Twitter and Facebook profile. However, we have never doubted that Mr. Sloan in our conference would offer a non-political and objective conference. ”
In his book, "Defense of the West," published in 2016, Sloan discussed the impact that the Trump administration could have on the deterioration of transatlantic relations, given its questionable support for NATO, its relationship with Russia and its response to threats. of the Islamic State.
The United States Embassy in Denmark in a series of tweets on Sunday he said Sloan had been added to the program at the last minute, without the same joint decision making used to recruit the other speakers.
The cancellation of the event was "unfortunate," the embassy said, as it would have given speakers and attendees the opportunity to exchange views and strengthen NATO for the future.
Sloan published the speech he had prepared for the conference on Facebook, in which he thanked Ms. Sands for her expression of support for the democratic values promoted by the alliance.
Ms. Sands, who previously worked in the business, investment and philanthropic sectors, was confirmed by the Senate in 2017, according to the embassy's website. He also served as a board member of several arts and education institutions in California and has a doctorate in chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College, now Life University, in Marietta, Georgia.