Biden unveils changes in US foreign policy

US Vice-President Joe Biden on Saturday announced changes to the US foreign policy that emphasised diplomacy over military power.

Written by Agencies | Munich | Published:February 8, 2009 12:13 am

US Vice-President Joe Biden on Saturday announced changes to the US foreign policy that emphasised diplomacy over military power. “I come to Europe on behalf of a new administration determined to set a new tone,” Biden said at the 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy in Munich.

Pakistan

Biden underlined the urgency for Washington to establish a long-term relationship with Pakistan. He linked the success in Afghanistan with cooperation from Islamabad.

• The world community needs to help Pakistan promote economic development in the country,as success in Afghanistan cannot be achieved without the cooperation from Islamabad.

• “… we feel it’s urgent to move from a relationship that was transactional to one that is based upon a long-term relationship… that helps the Afghan people develop the capacity to secure their own future.”

Russia

Biden said that US was ready to “press the reset button” with Moscow.

• “It is time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should work together.”

• Obama’s new team was ready to consider Russian demands in negotiations to renew START,a key Cold War-era nuclear disarmament treaty set to expire in December.

Iran

The US is willing to talk to Iran and offer it a choice between “pressure and isolation” or “meaningful incentives,” Biden said.

• “We will be willing to talk to Iran,and offer a very clear choice: continue down the current course and there will be continued pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear programme and your support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives.”

• The new US administration is “reviewing” Iran policy.

Guantanamo

While promising that Washington would listen more to its allies,Biden said that it would also expect more from them. “For example,we will ask others to take responsibility for some of those now at Guantanamo,as we determine to close it,” he said.

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