On February 4 – two weeks after taking office – President Biden visits the Department of State, the oldest agency that makes up the US administration.
The purpose of the visit is to emphasize that the Biden administration is seeking to restore a multilateral approach to foreign policy issues and to declare the revival of close cooperation between the administration and the international community.
During the visit, the President is accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, who addressed the department staff with an opening speech.
Then President Biden addressed the audience.
“America is back. Diplomacy is back, ”he said.
The President thanked State Department officials for their service to the United States and promised to revive the role of the Foreign Office in the country’s political life.
Addressing State Department officials, President Biden stressed the critical role that the department plays in combating the challenges facing the entire world – the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. “These problems can only be solved by countries working together for a common cause,” Biden said.
Cooperation with other countries “must begin with diplomacy based on the most precious values of American democracy – protecting freedom, offering opportunities, protecting human rights, respecting the rule of law, and treating all people with dignity,” the president said.
“While many of these values have come under intense pressure in recent years and have even been on the brink of extinction in the past few weeks, the American people will emerge stronger from this situation … to unite the world in the fight to defend democracy,” Biden said. …
The President said that over the past two weeks he managed to communicate with many US allies, leaders of Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Germany, France, NATO, Japan, South Korea and Australia. The speech, according to Biden, was about reformatting America’s foreign policy and restoring democratic unions, which “atrophied in the last four years of neglect and abuse.”
According to Biden, the ability to create alliances is one of the main strengths of the United States. The President stressed that the United States must “once again stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key partners.” However, at the same time, Washington must continue “diplomatic interaction with our opponents and competitors where it is in our interests and contributes to the security of the American people.”
As the press secretary of the White House Jen Psaki, who once held the post of spokesman for the State Department, said yesterday, Biden’s visit to the Foreign Ministry is due “primarily to his desire to thank the men and women who are members of the diplomatic service, civil servants who represent the heart and soul this institution and, frankly, our government. ”
According to Psaki, President Biden’s speech will be devoted to a wide range of foreign policy issues.
The fact that Biden is visiting the State Department so soon after taking office is intended to demonstrate the president’s interest in foreign policy and, in particular, to remind him of the years when he served as a Senator from Delaware on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Speaking during a briefing on the foreign policy agenda of the Biden administration on Wednesday, Jen Psaki recalled that, according to the president’s conviction, the United States should work closely with allies on the issue of relations with China. In this regard, she cited a statement by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who called the US-China relationship the most important relationship in the world for the United States.
A spokeswoman for the White House also noted that the president is discussing with his European allies issues related to Russia.
Psaki stressed the need for the immediate release of the Americans arrested by the Russian authorities.
Recall that among the US citizens held in Russia are former Marines Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, as well as investor Michael Calvey.
Paul Whelan was sentenced by a Russian court to sixteen years in prison on espionage charges. Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of endangering the lives of two Russian police officers.
Psaki said the release of the arrested Americans would demonstrate that after the United States and Russia agreed to extend START III, Russia is ready to address the “difficult issues” inherited from the past in the context of bilateral relations.