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World US allies welcome Biden's aggressive multilateralism

01:15  08 may  2021
01:15  08 may  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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US allies welcome Biden ' s aggressive multilateralism . By Barbara Plett Usher BBC State Department correspondent. What better platform than a gathering of the world's richest democracies to showcase the core of President Joe Biden ' s foreign policy: an aggressive multilateralism with "like-minded" countries to combat global threats such as pandemics and climate change. And to "defend democracy" in the face of what's described as rising challenges from autocracies such as China and Russia.

With our allies , we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal’s provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern.” The biggest impact from a Biden presidency will be a reinvigoration of the notion that the U . S . can work with allies in a more predictable fashion. Mideast allies may look at Biden ’ s victory with some ambivalence. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Israel benefited from Trump’s penchant to look the other way on their domestic human rights issues. But Biden is unlikely to reverse the wave of normalization agreements between Israel and some Arab

During the G7 foreign ministers meeting in Britain this week, state department officials showered us with "C-words" to describe the atmosphere.

Joe Biden in a suit and tie sitting at a table: Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting between President Joe Biden and Mexican diplomats at the White House © Getty Images Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting between President Joe Biden and Mexican diplomats at the White House

"The phrases I heard throughout the day were about coherence, about collaboration, about co-operation," said one.

"C-words abound," agreed another, adding "consensus" and "convergence."

So yes, they thought it went well. And after all, why wouldn't it?

What better platform than a gathering of the world's richest democracies to showcase the core of President Joe Biden's foreign policy: an aggressive multilateralism with "like-minded" countries to combat global threats such as pandemics and climate change. And to "defend democracy" in the face of what's described as rising challenges from autocracies such as China and Russia.

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President Joe Biden ’ s efforts to rescue and ultimately reshape the U . S . economy may be getting most of the attention, but his administration has also been busy on the international front, in large part by expanding and adjusting the vast net of sanctions that the U . S That, said American University’s Tama, is typically the least effective method of changing a country’s behavior. “Sanctions are more effective when they're coordinated with allies and partners,” he said, and Biden ’ s predilection toward multilateralism may make his imposition of sanctions more effective than those of his predecessors.

US allies on Saturday wasted no time in congratulating Joe Biden on his projected victory, as the president-elect vows to restore America' s global role following President Donald Trump' s chaotic four years in power. French President Emmanuel Macron told Biden he wanted to "work together," while Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote pointedly on Twitter, " Welcome back America!" British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom the outgoing US president has fondly called the "Britain Trump," also turned the page, calling for cooperation with Biden on trade and climate change -- one area of major contrast

It's a foreign policy vision drafted by Biden's mild-mannered Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a veteran diplomat who received a warm welcome from allies relieved to be putting four years of Donald Trump's erratic unilateralism behind them.

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No doubt some of them also felt a bit more "like-minded" with Blinken than they did with his predecessor, Trump's point man Mike Pompeo. Pompeo was a politician with a powerful intellect but a short temper. His advocacy for his boss' nationalist agenda in international fora could sound more like an ultimatum than diplomacy.

Pompeo's close ties to Trump guaranteed him a seat at the table, but that didn't always translate to access for the state department's travelling press corps. In fact, given his determination to never upstage his boss, sometimes it was the opposite.

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We are looking forward together,” Biden said. Biden delivered the speech after meeting privately with the leaders of the Group of Seven nations in a virtual conference hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “Drawing on our strengths and values as democratic, open economies and societies, we will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism and to shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet,” the statement read.

International allies who have endured a turbulent four years working with Trump are mostly overjoyed to welcome a Biden team that they know will be zealous adherents to the principles of multilateralism . Those moves will also be eyed closely in Israel, as well as Biden ' s opposition to settlements in the occupied West Bank and attempted revival of the peace process with the Palestinians. Biden "keeps saying, 'I'm going to resume the JCPOA agreement between us and Iran.' I'm not sure it will be so easy," said Amos Gilead, a retired Israeli major general who now heads the

To be fair, we had been warned there wouldn't be much for us to do if we accompanied the secretary of state to Trump's 2018 summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki - that it would be a White House show.

But still, we didn't expect to spend part of the afternoon of their much anticipated press conference hanging out in a nearby pizza restaurant until a holding space in the building could be cleared for us!

Staying on the same page as the unpredictable Trump sometimes required Pompeo to engage in verbal gymnastics. Antony Blinken, on the other hand, has an even closer relationship with the current president because it is founded on a meeting of minds after decades of working together.

We are still finding out what sort of access this means for us. Biden's national security team is both skilled at drafting policy and at tightly managing the message, weaving talking points into answers to questions so frequently that some have begun to sound like mantras.

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State must close the loophole that permits unvaccinated children into schools. Welcome to Reddit, the front page of the internet. Become a Redditor. Ever since biden took office, Ive been seeing a lot of conservatives use the “oh what happened to unity” line whenever a liberal criticizes the GOP. Biden is the only person who called for unity. He did so because he’ s the President and I commend him for it. Conservatives are mistaken if they think liberal citizens want jack shit to do with them and their agenda.

World leaders welcomed Joe Biden ’ s election win with many hoping the Democratic U . S . president-elect will spur a reset in ties, bringing a renewed focus on global issues like climate change and a more collaborative response to the coronavirus pandemic. World Leaders Welcome Biden Win as They Seek Reset in U . S . Ties.

Indeed, chaos at the top during the Trump administration could turn the traditional world of geopolitical power politics into unexpectedly newsy headlines.

I remember how Pompeo's trip to the Middle East in January 2019 became a high stakes damage control mission after Trump announced without warning that he was pulling all US troops out of Syria.

I also remember when word of Trump's decision to recognize Israel's annexation of the occupied Golan Heights started to leak while we were waiting for a press conference at the residence of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister. As a journalist, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the Blinken/Biden foreign policy agenda will be worthy but boring in comparison.

The aim of the Blinken/Biden foreign policy agenda is to revert back to a more conventional, less turbulent, rhythm of international relations.

And yet, I'm reminded of that rare burst of diplomatic fireworks at Blinken's first meeting with his Chinese counterparts in Alaska. They were apparently offended by what they saw as condescending remarks from Biden's team.

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President Biden's approach to China is more coherent than Trump's, but still confrontational, in the name of defending values as well as interests.

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What better way, though, to draw a line between the two than this week's trip to Ukraine, the country caught up in the former president's first impeachment.

Trump's defining relationship with Kyiv was trying to link US military assistance to extracting political dirt on Biden, an effort led by his private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani also orchestrated a smear campaign that ousted the US ambassador to Ukraine, a career professional whom Pompeo refused to support.

Blinken made clear he was coming to show "unwavering support" for Ukraine's pro-Western government, rattled by Moscow's recent military build-up on its border and eager for Washington's full engagement to counter Russian "aggression."

By coincidence, an FBI raid on Giuliani's flat had catapulted him into the news again. But when I asked President Volodymyr Zelensky about any continuing fallout in Ukraine from Giuliani's activities, he dismissed the notion.

"I don't want to waste your time on the past," he said. "Let's talk about the future."

"It's irrelevant," a senior state department official added later for emphasis, "they're not thinking about that. They wanted what the secretary was proposing, which was to rejuvenate the relationship."

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This is interesting!