The President of the United States has vowed to restore diplomatic and trade relations with the African continent.
“The United States stands ready to be your partner, in solidarity, support, and mutual respect. We believe in the nations of Africa,” he proclaimed.
On Thursday, Biden declared a new era in U.S. foreign policy, emphasizing the importance of traditional alliances and stressing that engagement with other countries should start with diplomacy rooted in America’s “most cherished democratic values.”
In his first major foreign policy address as president, Biden said that defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights and respecting the rule of law are “the grounding wire of our global power” and give the U.S. “an abiding advantage” on the world stage.
Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, warned that the U.S. faces a moment of “accelerating global challenges” – from a pandemic to the climate crisis to nuclear proliferation – all of which he said will be solved only by nations working together.
“The American people are going to merge from this stronger, more determined and better equipped to unite the world in fighting to defend democracy,” he said at the State Department building in Washington DC.
In his maiden speech ahead of the African Union summit, Joe Biden outlined his priorities for relations with Africa.
He pledged to reestablish trade and investment, support peace and security efforts in the continent.
“We must all work together to advance our shared vision of a better future, a future that advances growth and investment, that advances prosperity for all our nations. A future that advances lives of peace and security for all our citizens, a future committed to investing in our democratic institutions and promoting the human rights of all people.”
On Thursday, the U.S Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken spoke with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed about peace and security in the horn of Africa.
President Biden said his administration seeks to be a partner in resolving Africa’s challenges and “engaging in sustained diplomacy in connection with the African Union to address conflicts that are costing lives all across the African continent.”
He, however, admitted that “none of this going to be easy, but the United States stands now to be your partner, in solidarity, support and mutual respect.”
He acknowledged that –in the face of the pandemic –there could be doubts on how to address current challenges facing the world.
But Biden maintained that “although they [challenges] are great, there is no doubt that our nations, our people, the African Union, we are up to this task.”
He expressed his intention to visit the African Union during their next summit.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed President Biden’s message and said the African Union looks forward to “resetting the strategic AU-USA partnership.”
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