Washington (AFP), Sep 20 – President Joe Biden will push back against the idea that the United States is plunging into a new Cold War with key rivals in his address to the UN General Assembly this week, a senior official said Monday.
Amid heightened tensions with China and Russia, Biden will instead stress diplomacy and “vigorous” competition in his speech at the annual UN summit on Tuesday.
“President Biden will communicate tomorrow that he does not believe in the notion of a new Cold War with the world divided into blocks. He believes in vigorous, intensive, principled competition,” the official said, previewing the speech.
“The president will essentially drive home the message that ending the war in Afghanistan closed the chapter focused on war and opens a chapter focused on personal, purposeful, effective American diplomacy,” the official said.
In his first address to the United Nations as president, Biden will stress that Washington will work with allies and partners “to solve problems that can’t be solved by military force,” the official added.
The US leader will also issue an “all hands on deck” call for global cooperation to end the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world since early 2020.
The official also said that Biden is waiting to talk with French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone in hopes of repairing the fracture caused by Washington’s surprise nuclear submarine deal with Australia, which killed France’s own deal to sell its submarines to Canberra.
Biden “has asked to speak to President Macron to talk about the way forward,” the official said, and to discuss how the two longstanding allies can work closely together around the world and especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We understand the French position. We don’t share their view,” the official said, amid accusations by France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian that it was “stabbed in the back,” in the US-Australia agreement.
“The two of them have, I think, a deep mutual respect,” the official said of Biden and Macron.