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Biden declares 'America is back' as he announces major foreign policy shifts


Biden declares 'America is back' as he announces major foreign policy shifts
By Nicole Gaouette, Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood, CNN

Updated 6:29 PM ET, Thu February 4, 2021
US President Joe Biden speaks to staff of the US State Department during his first visit in Washington, DC, February 4, 2021.

Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden announced "America is back" on Thursday and declared that "diplomacy is back at the center" of US foreign policy as he said the US will end all support for Saudi Arabia's offensive operations in Yemen, one of several changes he announced in his first major foreign-policy speech since taking office.

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The President touted his administration's moves to elevate cyber by appointing the first national deputy security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, to weave climate objectives into all diplomacy and to rejoin the World Health Organization and the Paris climate agreement.

And he touched on a few specific cases. He called on the Burmese military to "relinquish power they have seized. Release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained, lift the restrictions in telecommunications and refrain from violence."
Biden hailed Wednesday's agreement to extend the New START Treaty with Russia, to preserve the only remaining nuclear arms agreement between them, but also criticized Russia for jailing opposition activist Alexey Navalny. "He should be released immediately and without condition," he said.

The President spoke only generally about China, saying the US will confront Beijing's "economic abuses, counter its aggressive, coercive action to push back on China's attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance." But some thorny issues -- including nuclear negotiations with Iran and the continuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians -- he didn't mention at all.

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