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Antony Blinken defends Joe Biden’s foreign policy to senators

The next US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced the color on Tuesday, January 19, at the start of the process of confirmation by the Senate of the members appointed by the elected President of the United States to join his government.

The one who has long advised Joe Biden on foreign policy and was number two in American diplomacy under the presidency of Barack Obama defended the positions of the future American government in foreign policy.

  • “Invigorate” alliances

At the opening of his hearing, Antony Blinken declared that he aspired to “Invigorate” Alliances battered by Donald Trump. “Together, we are in a much better position to counter threats posed by Russia, Iran and North Korea and to defend democracy and human rights (…) American leadership still matters. “

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Reconnecting with allies, especially Europeans, shaken up by four years of Trump’s presidency is one of Joe Biden’s main priorities in foreign policy. The other being to demonstrate that America ” is back “ on the international scene and in multilateral circles, again breaking with the sovereignist and unilateralist vision of the republican billionaire.

The next US Secretary of State has, however, admitted that the outgoing Republican President, who rarely finds favor in Democrats’ eyes, had “Was right to have a firmer stance against China”. Antony Blinken said he shared the accusation of “Genocide” perpetrated by China against Uyghur Muslims, made public Tuesday by Mike Pompeo.

However, Antony Blinken promised a diplomacy opposite to that of Donald Trump, who jostled his allies, flirted with autocrats, broke international conventions and scorned multilateral circles. “We must face China from a position of strength, not of weakness”, he pleaded, ensuring that this implied “To work with the allies instead of denigrating them, to participate and lead the international institutions rather than to disengage from them”.

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  • Reconsider the classification of the Houthis as terrorists

The future American Secretary of State also promised, in front of the American senators, to “Review immediately” ranking Yemen’s Houthi rebels as “Terrorist organization” in order to“Ensure that what we do does not hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid”. This decision, which entered into force on Tuesday, was decided by his predecessor Mike Pompeo. Elected Democrats have already called on President-elect Joe Biden to reconsider this classification.

The US State Department had promised waivers to avert a famine in Yemen, which were granted Tuesday by the US Treasury. These measures aim to limit the impact on international humanitarian aid of the decision to classify the Houthis, which comes with potential sanctions for those who maintain relations with them. But Antony Blinken immediately judged that they were insufficient, just like the UN.

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American support for the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, especially in military equipment, has often been criticized by human rights organizations but also American elected officials because of numerous blunders against civilians.

“The President-elect has made it clear that we will end our support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen”, said Antony Blinken. “We’re going to do this very quickly. “ He believed that while the Houthis wore “A great responsibility” in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, “The worst in the world”, the Saudi coalition had “Also contributed significantly to this situation”.

  • Extend the New Start disarmament treaty

Regarding an extension of the nuclear arsenal disarmament treaty of Russia and the United States, entitled New Start, Antony Blinken pledged to “Try to extend it”. “This is a question that the elected president will have to face almost immediately after taking office” Wednesday, because “We have an agreement which expires in only 16 days”, he added.

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However, he said he would prefer not to comment on the duration of such an extension, which will be one of the first diplomatic tests of the Biden presidency.

The New Start agreement limits the arsenals of the two nuclear powers to a maximum of 1,550 warheads deployed each, a reduction of nearly 30% compared to the previous limit set in 2002. It also limits the number of launchers and heavy bombers at 800, which is still enough to destroy Earth multiple times.

  • Promote the “two-state solution”

Asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the future foreign minister assures us that, for Joe Biden, the only viable outcome is “The two-state solution”. In front of the American senators, however, he admitted that such a solution was not “Realistic” at ” short term “, calling immediately on Israelis and Palestinians to “Avoid unilateral measures which make it even more complex”.

The future democratic government will not go back on the decisions concerning the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, nor on its embassy. He also assured that “Engagement” of the future US government “In favor of the security of Israel” was “Sacrosanct”.

  • Return to the 2015 international agreement

With regard to Iran, if Joe Biden clearly wants to resume dialogue, his future foreign minister wanted to reassure the many senators, Republicans but also Democrats, who have expressed their concern.

The elected president wants to return quickly to the international agreement of 2015 on Iranian nuclear power, of which Donald Trump slammed the door, deeming it insufficient to contain Tehran. Antony Blinken confirmed this line, “If Iran comes back in the nails” of its nuclear commitments from which it is freeing itself a little more every day. He said that the exit from this agreement, denounced with constancy by the European allies of Washington, had reinforced the Iranian nuclear threat, making Tehran ” more dangerous “.

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But he also promised to use the return in the 2015 pact. “As a starting point, with our allies and partners who would again be on the same side as us, to seek a stronger and more lasting agreement”. This should include Iran’s ballistic missile program as well as its “Destabilizing activities” in the Middle-East.

The World with AFP

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