Blinken defends US management at UN as Biden administration wrestles with overseas coverage crises

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The prime US diplomat, talking to reporters on the UN General Assembly, mentioned that he had met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian because the administration tries to fix ties ruptured over the US announcement of the “AUKUS” alliance with the UK and Australia and settlement to offer nuclear-powered submarines to Australia — submarines that France had anticipated to promote to Canberra.
“We recognize this will take time and hard work, and will be demonstrated not only in words, but in deeds, and I’m committed to working closely with Minister Le Drian on this crucial effort,” Blinken mentioned about repairing the rift that led France to recall its ambassador from Washington.
The US acted as host to the 76th session of the worldwide diplomatic gathering — contracted and ambition as a result of Covid-19 pandemic — at a time when the Biden administration’s standing on the world stage has been tarnished by the overseas coverage crises of Afghanistan, the diplomatic spat with France and condemnation of its treatment of Haitian refugees. Another main overseas coverage aim — reviving the Iran nuclear deal — has stalled as Tehran’s new President has declined to interact within the talks in Vienna.

Blinken pointed to 2 main challenges the world faces — the Covid-19 pandemic and local weather change — and known as on the world to do extra. “When it comes to both the pandemic and climate, the international response isn’t as aggressive as it needs to be,” he mentioned. “And that’s what we were trying to continue to work hard, to emphasize here this week and in the days and weeks ahead.”

But the majority of questions Blinken fielded have been in regards to the diplomatic missteps and overseas coverage challenges the Biden administration is dealing with.

Biden called for diplomacy over conflict at the UN General Assembly. Here's how world leaders responded

Asked in regards to the fiery denunciations of former Special Envoy for Haiti Daniel Foote, who resigned whereas calling the Biden administration coverage on Haitian refugees “inhumane,” Blinken thanked Foote for his service, whilst senior State Department officers publicly criticized the previous envoy.

Foote condemned the administration’s “inhumane” choice to deport Haitian refugees and the “deeply flawed” US insurance policies on Haiti, saying he’ll “not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees” from the US-Mexico border.

“People bring strongly held views to pretty much every issue that we deal with, and especially when it’s an issue that engenders real passion, like Haiti,” Blinken mentioned. “The level of desperation among the migrants is something that can’t help but powerfully affect all of us, and so I really understand the passion that comes with this, and I understand Dan’s passion. But that’s also why both on a personal level and institutionally, we are committed to doing all we can to support the people of Haiti now and going forward.”

The Biden administration is grappling with an inflow of 1000’s of migrants, lots of whom are Haitian, on the US-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas. The administration has repeatedly vowed in public statements that the migrants can be turned away, drawing the ire of many Democrats and human rights teams, who say it’s inhumane to return the migrants due to Haiti’s humanitarian disaster.

‘Remain united’

Images of Border Patrol officers on horseback utilizing aggressive techniques when confronting Haitians have drawn widespread criticism.

Blinken additionally mentioned Afghanistan, one other tough subject for the Biden administration after the chaotic withdrawal from the nation, saying it had been the main target of discussions all through his time on the annual General Assembly. “Across those meetings, we underscored how critical it is that the international community remain united” in its strategy to the Taliban because the group continues to hunt legitimacy and worldwide help, he mentioned.

The US message to the worldwide group is that any legitimacy or help for the Taliban has to rely on them assembly commitments in key areas: “allowing foreign nationals and Afghans to travel outside the country if they wish; preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base for external operations to threaten other countries; respecting basic human rights, particularly for women, for children, for members of minority groups; refraining from carrying out reprisals; allowing unimpeded humanitarian access; and forming a genuinely inclusive government that can meet the basic needs and reflect aspirations of the Afghan people,” Blinken mentioned.

He additionally acknowledged that there is been little motion on returning to the Iran nuclear talks.

“We don’t have yet an agreement by Iran to return to the talks,” Blinken mentioned. “The question is whether and, if so, when Iran is prepared to do that.”

US says it is working on contingency plans in case Iran continues nuclear advances and refuses to return to talks

He mentioned the US has been “very sincere and very steadfast” in its makes an attempt to get again to mutual compliance with the nuclear deal and to handle “the full range of concerns that we and many other countries have with Iran.”

Earlier Thursday, a senior State Department official mentioned the US is engaged on contingency plans in case Iran continues to make nuclear advances and fails to return to worldwide talks. The official added that because the US and allies look ahead to Tehran to return to nuclear talks, their endurance might quickly put on skinny.

“Any government would do this,” the official mentioned, talking Thursday on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in regards to the nuclear deal formally generally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “We obviously have to look at what we will do if we conclude that Iran is either not interested in coming back to the JCPOA or its nuclear advantage is such that it doesn’t make sense for JCPOA to have been hollowed out.”

The official mentioned it is the choice of the US and allies “to come back to the table,” and added that if there’s any concern a few Plan B, it is “the one that Iran, where they want to continue to build that and not be seriously engaged to return to the JCPOA.”

CNN’s Michael Conte contributed to this report.

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Nicole Gaouette

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