Biden says ‘days of rolling over’ to Russia are done as he signals foreign policy reset from Trump era

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 (Independent)
(Independent)

President Joe Biden said his administration is working to rebuild "the muscles of democratic alliances that have atrophied from four years of neglect and abuse" following Donald Trump's term in office.

In his first visit to the US Department of State on Thursday, the president pledged to stand "shoulder to shoulder with our allies and key partners once more", while stressing that "leading with diplomacy must also mean engaging our adversaries and our competitors diplomatically where it is in our interest and advances the security of the American people."

He said that he "made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive action" – pointing to cyber attacks from the SolarWinds breach and the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny – "are over."

The US president said Mr Navalny "has been targeted for exposing corruption" and "should be released immediately and without condition."

President Biden outlined a series of foreign policy initiatives, including a global review of US armed forces, and end to US military support for the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen, and an executive order on the US refugee admissions program undermined by the Trump administration.

"America is back. Diplomacy is back," he said in prepared remarks.

"We must meet this new moment of accelerating global challenges – from a pandemic to the climate crisis to nuclear proliferation – that will only be solved by nations working together in common cause," he said. "That must start with diplomacy, rooted in America’s most cherished democratic values: defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights, respecting the rule of law, treating every person with dignity."

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