US not seeking new Cold War, says Biden at UNGA amid China tensions: Highlights

NEW DELHI: In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), US President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that America will start an “era of relentless diplomacy” after its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Amid growing China tensions, Biden also declared the US is “not seeking a new Cold War.”
Here are the highlights of his speech:
‘Not seeking Cold war’
Without mentioning China directly, Biden acknowledged increasing concerns about rising tensions between the two nations.

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But he said, “We are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs.”
His remarks come amid China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Biden will later this week host the first in-person Quad summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.

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‘Era of relentless diplomacy’
The president noted his decision to end America’s longest war last month, in Afghanistan, and set the table for his administration to shift US attention to intensive diplomacy with no shortage of crises facing the globe.
He said he is driven by a belief that “to deliver for our own people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world.”
“We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan,” Biden said.
“And as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world.”
He said that UNSC has adopted a resolution outlining how to support people of Afghanistan and laid out the expectations from the Taliban.
“We all must advocate the rights of women, girls to pursue their dreams free of violence and intimidation,” he said.
Biden said the US will continue to defend itself and its allies against terrorism.
‘Committed to preventing Iran from getting nukes’
US President Joe Biden told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that the United States would return to the Iranian nuclear deal in “full” if Tehran does the same.
He said the United States was “working” with China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany to “engage Iran diplomatically and to seek a return to” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which America left in 2018.
“We’re prepared to return to full compliance if Iran does the same,” he added.
‘Palestinian state best way to resolve conflict with Israel’
Biden said that a sovereign and democratic Palestinian state is the “best way” to ensure Israel’s future.
“We must seek a future of greater peace and security for all people of the Middle East,” he said.
“The commitment of the United States to Israel’s security is without question and our support for an independent Jewish state is unequivocal,” he said.
“But I continue to believe that a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian state,” he said.
“We’re a long way from that goal at this moment but we should never allow ourselves to give up on the possibility of progress.”
Covid, climate change & more
Biden put a heavy emphasis on a need for world leaders to work together on the Covid-19 pandemic, meet past obligations to address climate change, head off emerging technology issues and firm up trade rules.
“We meet this year in a moment intermingled with great pain and extraordinary possibility. We have lost so much to this devastating pandemic that continues to claim lives around the world and impact so much on our existence. We’re mourning more than 4.5 million people, people of every nation, from every background. Each death is an individual heartbreak,” he said.
He went on to say this is “a decisive decade for our world” which will “quite literally determine our futures.”
“We will choose to build a better future. We, you and I, we have the will and capacity to make it better. Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot afford to waste any more time. We can do this.”
(With inputs from agencies)

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