WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden delivered his first foreign policy speech on Thursday and vowed to “compete from a position of strength,” and to renew America’s role in international institutions, “and reclaiming our credibility and moral authority.”
“That’s why we’ve moved quickly to begin restoring American engagement internationally, to earn back our leadership position, and to catalyze global action on shared challenges,” the president added.
“America is back, diplomacy is back,” said Biden. “We will repair our alliances and engage in the world once again.”
He said that tackling global challenges “from a pandemic to the climate crisis, to nuclear proliferation” could be solved only “by nations working together in common cause.”
Speaking at the State Department following a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Biden said he would end the support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
“This war has to end, and to underscore our commitment, we’re ending all American support for offensive operations in the war on Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” Biden said.
“At the same time, Saudi Arabia faces missile attacks, UAV strikes, and other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in multiple countries. We’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity and its people.”
He said that the war in Yemen “has created a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe,” and he noted the he had asked the Middle East team “to ensure our support in the United Nations-led initiative to impose a ceasefire and restore long dormant peace talks.”
Biden also noted that Secretary Blinken had appointed a special envoy to the Yemen conflict.
Speaking about Russia, the president said that the United States and Russia agreed to extend the “New Start” treaty for five years and “preserve the only remaining treaty between our countries safeguarding nuclear stability.”
“At the same time, I made it clear to President Putin in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyber-attacks, poisoning its citizens – are over,” he continued.
He went on to say that “the politically motivated jailing of Alexei Navalny, and the Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are matters of deep concern to us and the international community.”
“We’ll also take on directly on the challenges posed to our prosperity, security and democratic values by our most serious competitor, China,” he added. “We’ll confront China’s economic abuses; counter its aggressive course of action to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance, but we’re ready to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest to do so.”