On Friday, US President Joe Biden severely distanced himself from the trade and foreign policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump. Biden said that the United States’ relations with its allies “is not a bargaining chip.”
Relations with the allies are “inseparable,” according to the new US president. This view is in stark contrast to the way Trump has treated his powerful G7 allies as economic competitors. “Our relationships have grown over the years because they are rooted in the richness of our shared democratic values,” Biden said.
During the digital consultations, Biden invited his G7 allies to work with him to combat the pandemic and climate change. Biden wants to re-introduce himself and the United States as a world leader. In the G7, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union will hold consultations on international and economic issues.
At a digital security conference in Munich after the G7, he said one of the pioneers of his policy was also to restore ties with NATO. Biden promised that “America is back.” He described the alliance as “unwavering.” His predecessor Trump regularly underestimated the transatlantic alliance, demanded an increase in defense spending, and threatened to take back US forces.
“The United States is fully committed to NATO, and I welcome your increased investment in military capabilities that enable us to defend jointly,” Biden said.
Biden stresses that coordinated action in consultation with allies is essential. Trump has alarmed his allies by demanding more favorable trade deals for the United States and threatening to reduce the U.S. military presence.
Biden also called for democracy to be protected, whether against foreign interference in the elections or against internal unrest, such as the attack by President Trump’s supporters on the Capitol Building. He says he believes with every strand of his body that democracy will triumph, and he speaks of a “turning point” in this context.
Biden says it is imperative that the United States work with other world powers to curb Iran’s “destabilizing” nuclear ambitions. The United States government is ready to reopen negotiations with the Security Council on Iran’s nuclear program. “We have to do something about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East,” Biden said. “We will work with our European and other partners to see how we move forward.”
On Friday, Iran reiterated that all US sanctions should be lifted for further consultations. This happened after the US government made it clear that it wanted to meet with the Islamic Republic to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. This could happen at a summit with other countries.
The Iranian foreign minister wrote on Twitter that the United States should “unconditionally” lift all sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump. Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would immediately cancel any countermeasures it had taken.
The nuclear deal with Iran causes a headache for Biden. The United States and several other countries agreed with Iran in 2015 that they would limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump felt a bad deal had been struck and once again imposed harsh punitive measures in his tenure. After that, Iran no longer felt obligated to respect the agreements contained in the deal.
In the future, President Joe Biden’s government will not independently invite Russia to participate in the consultations at the G7, the group of Western world leaders. According to White House spokesperson Jane Psaki, this is only possible when all participating countries agree. In doing so, the Biden administration distanced itself from the policies of former President Donald Trump, who in June last year described the G7 as a “very old-fashioned group of countries” and felt that Russia, Australia, South Korea and India should join them.
“I do not think we will send new invitations to Russia or repeat the invitations,” Psaki said. “If that is the case, we will of course do that in consultation with the other countries in the G7.”
In the G7, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union will hold consultations on international and economic issues.
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