Biden will expose his foreign policy at the G-7, Munich summit


WASHINGTON (AP) – Joe Biden will make his first major appearance on the world stage as president on Friday, giving Group of Seven allies and other foreign leaders a glimpse into his plans to drastically reform America’s foreign policy, including while dealing with various international crises that are reaching a critical point.

Ahead of Biden’s virtual appearances at a G-7 meeting and the Munich Security Conference, the White House sought to underline that the new administration will act quickly to reorient the US away from the “America first” mantra. of Donald Trump in announcing major Trump setbacks. management policies.

Biden was expected to use his speech at the Munich conference to emphasize that the United States is ready to meet with talks on the reentry of the 2015 Iran multilateral nuclear deal. abandoned by the Trump administration. The Biden administration announced on Thursday its desire to re-engage Iran and took action at the United Nations to restore the policy to what it was before President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018..

Biden was also expected to address the economic and national security challenges posed by Russia and China, as well as the two-decade war in Afghanistan, where he faces a May 1 deadline to withdraw the remaining 2,500 US troops under a deal. peace agreement negotiated by the Trump administration with the Taliban.

“Our partnerships have endured and grown over the years because they are rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values,” Biden will say, according to excerpts from comments prepared for the Munich Conference published by the White House. “They are not transactional. They are not extractive. They are based on a vision of the future in which every voice is important. “

His message should be bound by an underlying argument that democracies, not autocracies, are models of governance that can better meet the challenges of the day, according to a senior administration official who anticipated the president’s speech to journalists.

“We are in the midst of a fundamental debate about the future direction of our world,” Biden will say, according to the excerpts. “Among those who argue that, given all the challenges we face, from the fourth industrial revolution to a global pandemic, autocracy is the best way forward and those who understand that democracy is essential to meet those challenges.”

At the G-7, administration officials said, Biden was focusing on what awaits the international community as he tries to extinguish the public health and economic crises created by the coronavirus pandemic.. White House officials said Biden would announce at the G-7 that the United States would soon begin releasing $ 4 billion for an international effort to boost the purchase and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine to poor nations, a program that Trump refused to support.

Both the G-7 and the annual security conference are held virtually due to the pandemic.

Biden’s turn on the world stage comes as the United States officially rejoins the Paris climate accord on Friday, the largest international effort to curb global warming. Trump announced in June 2017 that he was pulling the US out of the landmark deal., arguing that it would undermine the American economy.

Biden announced the intention of the United States to meet with the agreement. the first day of his presidency, but had to wait 30 days for the measure to take effect. He has said that he will include climate change considerations in all major domestic and foreign policy decisions facing his administration.

His first foray into international summits will inevitably be perceived by some as an attempt to correct the course of Trump’s agenda. The new president, however, has made it clear that his domestic and foreign policy agenda will not simply be an erasure of the Trump years.

“I’m tired of talking about Donald Trump,” Biden lamented earlier this week at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee.

Biden on the campaign trail vowed to reaffirm America’s leadership in the international community, a role Trump often shunned while complaining that America was too often taken advantage of by exploited allies.

To that end, the White House said Biden would encourage G-7 partners to deliver on their promises with COVAX, an initiative by the World Health Organization to improve access to vaccines, even as the U.S. tap reopens. .

Trump had withdrawn the United States from the WHO and refused to join more than 190 countries in the COVAX program. The former Republican president accused the WHO of covering up China’s missteps in handling the virus at the start of the public health crisis that unraveled a strong American economy.

It remains to be seen how the G-7 allies will accept Biden’s calls for greater international cooperation in the distribution of vaccines given that the United States refused to participate in the Trump initiative and that there are growing calls for the Democratic administration to distribute some. products made in the United States. vaccine supplies abroad.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the United States and European nations to allocate up to 5% of current vaccine supplies to developing countries, the kind of vaccine diplomacy that China and Russia have begun to implement.

And earlier this week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres harshly criticized the “grossly unequal and unfair” distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, noting that 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccines.

Biden, who announced last week that the U.S. will have a sufficient supply of the vaccine by the end of July to inoculate 300 million people, remains focused for now on making sure all Americans are vaccinated, administration officials say. .

The allies will also be listening carefully to what Biden has to say about an impending crisis with Iran.

Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency this week that it would suspend voluntary implementation next week of a provision in the 2015 agreement that allowed UN nuclear monitors to conduct inspections of undeclared sites in Iran on short notice unless The United States will revoke the sanctions before February 23. .

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his counterparts in France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Thursday that the United States is prepared to enter into talks with Iran in an attempt to reach an agreement on a return to full compliance with the nuclear agreement of 2015, according to a joint report. declaration of the three nations.

Trump withdrew the United States from the pact negotiated by the Obama administration and renewed sanctions against Tehran, a step that Biden as a candidate said was shortsighted and dangerous.

But the joint statement by Blinken and the other ministers made clear that the Biden administration is still waiting for Iran to fully comply with the 2015 agreement again before the United States re-commits. He also urged Iran “to consider the consequences of such a serious action, particularly at this time of renewed diplomatic opportunity.”

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