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Biden Declares ‘America Is Back’ on International Stage: Live Updates


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Biden Returns to the International Stage

On Friday, President Biden spoke about the struggles of democracy and the importance of building close alliances with foreign leaders.

When I last spoke in Munich, I was a private citizen. I was a professor, not an elected official, but I said at that time, we will be back. And I’m a man of my word — America is back. I speak to you today as president of the United States at the very start of my administration, and I’m sending a clear message to the world: America is back, the trans-Atlantic alliance is back, and we are not looking backward. We are looking forward together. The global dynamics have shifted. New crises demand our attention. We cannot focus only on the competition among countries that threaten to divide the world or only on global challenges that threaten to sink us all together if we fail to cooperate. We must do both, working in lockstep with our allies and partners. So let me erase any lingering doubt. The United States will work closely with our European Union partners and the capitals across the continent.

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On Friday, President Biden spoke about the struggles of democracy and the importance of building close alliances with foreign leaders.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

For anyone looking for evidence that boasts about “America First” — and the need for America to go-it-alone — are over, President Biden’s speech to the Munich Security Conference was meant as an opening argument.

“America is back, the trans-Atlantic alliance is back,” Mr. Biden declared. Trying to expunge the last four years without ever once naming his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, Mr. Biden said “we are not looking backward.”

And then he went on to offer a 15-minute ode to the power of alliances.

He talked about an America that was itself overcoming challenges to the democratic experiment.

“We have to prove that our model isn’t a relic of history,” he said, a clear reference to the critique that China and Russia have been helping to push. “We must demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world. That is our galvanizing mission. Democracy doesn’t happen by accident. We have to defend it. Strengthen it. Renew it.”

In sharp contrast to Mr. Trump, who declined on several occasions to acknowledge the United States’ responsibilities under Article V of NATO to come to the aid of allies, he said “We will keep the faith” with the obligation. “An attack on one is an attack on all.”

But he also pressed Europe to think about challenges in a new way — one that differs from the Cold War, even if the two biggest adversaries were familiar from that period.

“We must prepare together for long-term strategic competition with China,” he said, naming “Cyberspace, artificial intelligence and biotechnology” as the new subjects of competition, which he said he welcomed. The West must again be setting the rules of how these technologies are used, he argued, rather than ceding those forums to Beijing.

And he argued for pushing back against Russia — he called Vladimir V. Putin only by his last name, with no title attached — mentioning in particular the need to respond to the SolarWinds attack that was aimed at federal and corporate computer networks. “Addressing Russian recklessness and hacking into computer networks in the United States and across Europe and the world has become critical to protect collective security.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain will play host to a summit meeting of the G7 leaders in June at a seaside resort in Cornwall, in what would be their first face-to-face meeting in two years.
Credit…Daniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson convened a video call of the leaders of the Group of 7 nations on Friday afternoon, seizing on the transition to a post-Trump world to…



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