At the UN, Biden Wants to Go Across Afghanistan with a Climate and Chinese Focus

Texas News Today

US President Joe Biden meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York City, USA on September 20, 2021. Reuters/Kevin Lamarck

September 21, 2021

by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Joe Biden plans to defend a hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in a speech to the United Nations on Tuesday to focus on global challenges from China and climate change. Emphasizing that US policy needs to be pivoted.

Biden will appear at the United Nations for the first time since becoming president in January. He faced criticism for his handling of the Afghan withdrawal and the Australian submarine transaction, which angered France-18, a key ally to counter China.

Following the long-standing “America First” policy by Republican predecessor Donald Trump, Biden wants to set a compelling example of how the United States will remain a trusted ally to partners around the world. I am

“America is back. We believe in the United Nations and its value,” he said Monday night before meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Biden “sets an example of why the next decade will determine our future not only for the United States but for world society, and he … talks about the importance of rebuilding.” House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Biden’s message is, “Ending the war in Afghanistan closes a war-focused chapter and … opens a well-thought-out, effective and focused American diplomacy-focused chapter.” A senior official of the House said. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan left NATO allies confused, while the ultra-fast Taliban takeover forced a massive global evacuation operation.

Last week, France recalled an ambassador to the United States about a submarine deal that undermined France’s plan to supply Australia with 12 diesel submarines.

France was outraged when Australia, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced last week that Australia would use US technology to obtain a nuclear submarine. US officials said nuclear propulsion would allow the Royal Australian Navy to operate quieter, longer and provide deterrence throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Biden will meet with Morrison in New York after his speech and return to Washington on Tuesday afternoon to sit with Johnson at the White House.

He is trying to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron to address the concerns in the coming days, but the White House said Biden has no plans to waive his deal with Australia.

President Biden’s main focus was on countering the rise of China. This week’s Biden meeting and comments are intended to send the message, “This is an era of fierce competition with the great powers, but not the new Cold War,” officials told reporters on Monday.

Biden also strengthened US commitment to climate change and the donation of a COVID-19 vaccine, officials said, without giving details. Biden will convene a virtual COVID-19 summit from the White House on Wednesday at the margins of the United Nations conference.

Biden will chair a White House conference on Friday with the leaders of four “quad” countries: Australia, India, Japan and the United States. The alliance is being seen as a counter to China’s growing claims.

(Written by Steve Holland; Edited by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

At the UN, Biden Wants to Go Across Afghanistan with a Climate and Chinese Focus

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