US ready to lead the world once again: President-elect

Wilmington, DE:  Declaring “America is back,” President-elect Joe Biden introduced his key national security and foreign policy officials Tuesday and said his incoming administration is ready to lead the world and once again sit at the head of the table.

This followed a day after the Trump administration allowed the formal transition of power to begin, ending a weeks-long stand-off. Soon after, the transition process was in full motion and Biden’s team also started receiving briefings including intel.    Biden acknowledged that the outreach from the Trump administration has been “sincere” since the General Services Administration ascertained his win.

Meanwhile, in Delaware, Biden signaled a sharp shift from outgoing the President’s “America First” policy over the last four years, and said America is “ready to confront our adversaries, not reject our allies. And ready to stand up for our values.”

Speaking from his transition center in his hometown of Wilmington, DE, Biden introduced his six top officials and highlighted the need to rebuild alliances, as well as tackling the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

Biden’s nominees include Antony Blinken for secretary of state.  Kamala Harris, Vice President-elect, described Blinken as “crisis-tested” and among the “best of America.” Blinken, who was deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, had said during the presidential campaign that from “Biden’s perspective, strengthening and deepening the relationship with India is going to be a very high priority.”

He met with S. Jaishankar when the current External Affairs Minister was India’s Foreign Secretary and Blinken was the deputy secretary of state.

India is “fair, stable, and hopefully increasingly democratic and it’s vital to being able to tackle some of these big global challenges,” Blinken said in July while speaking at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

“It’s usually important to the future of the Indo-Pacific and the kind of order that we all want,” he said affirming President Trump’s emphasis on the region as a counterbalance to China.

He spoke of the differences Biden has with India over Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act, which gives priority for citizenship to Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs fleeing persecution in neighboring Muslim countries.

Rather than the punitive actions advocated by some in the Democratic Party, Blinken said at the Hudson Institute, “You’re always better engaging with a partner and a vitally important one like India, when you can speak frankly and directly about areas where you have differences even as you’re working to build greater cooperation and strengthen the relationship going forward.”

“That would be the approach and again, I think we’ve seen evidence that it works,” he said.

Images courtesy of AP and MEA

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