Washington DC: After four years of Donald Trump's "America first" policies, US President Joe Biden on Friday announced to the world that "America is back" on the global stage.
Attending the Munich Security Conference via a virtual link, Biden categorically said, "I'm sending a clear message to the world. America is back. The transatlantic alliance is back," he said while addressing European allies.
In his address, Biden made a series of commitments to Europe, including collaborations on economic issues, climate change and national security. His speech is considered the first step in restoring damage done to relationships with allies during President Trump's tenure.
Pledging full commitment to NATO, Biden went off on a marked tangent from Trump, who had called the alliance obscure and accused member states of not paying their share. The new president, however, asked European countries to work together to deal with countries like Russia and China. In another clear break from Trump's policy of appeasing Vladimir Putin, Biden called on countries to ally with America instead of Russia. He also asked states to stand by Ukraine during its ongoing conflict with Moscow.
After talking about climate change, Biden unveiled gifts that he had brought along, namely $4 billion for the COVAX initiative run by World Health Organisation (WHO) that helps provide coronavirus vaccinations to developing countries. The first $2 billion have been approved by Congress in December while the other two will be delivered to COVAX by 2021 and 2022.