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“The return of a human American diplomacy”

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                New European Council under the sign of the pandemic and by videoconference for this meeting in March.  With a rare event in the transatlantic relationship: the participation this Thursday, evening of Joe Biden.  Before him, only two presidents in 20 years have met the heads of state and government of the EU together: Barack Obama in April 2009 and George Bush in June 2001. Interview with Marissa Scott-Torres, spokesperson for the secretary of 'US State Antony Blinken

                                    <p><strong>RFI: What is the meaning, the message of this presence of the President of the United States in the face of the Twenty-Seven?</strong>

Marissa Scott-Torres : The message is simple. We continue to support the goal of a united and free Europe. The United States is fully committed to NATO. And we welcome Europe’s growing investment in the military capabilities that make our common defense possible. NATO is essential to maintain the rules-based international order and meet the global challenges troubled by Iran, Russia and China.

Read also: Antony Blinken at NATO: rebuilding alliances after the Trump years

Countries like China and Russia have bet on vaccine diplomacy by exporting millions of doses, part of their reserve. Conversely, with the exception of the announcement of the shipment of doses to Canada and Mexico, the Biden administration focused on its national supply. Why is the United States not also betting on vaccine diplomacy?

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Remember, we gave two billion dollars to the Covax to distribute vaccines all over the world. We resolutely intend to work regularly with the allies to fight against Covid-19 but also climate change, and in general in the face of threats that affect everyone, foreign interference in electoral processes, democratic setbacks, resurgence authoritarianism, etc.

The United States has coordinated with the Twenty-Seven for sanctions following the poisoning of Alexey Navalny, do you think we need to go further, for example do you expect from from the Germans a definitive suspension of Nord Stream 2, this gas pipeline which must transport Russian gas from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine ?

The imprisonment of Alexei Navalny for political reasons, the efforts of the Russians to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are of great concern to us and to the international community. Like all Russian citizens, Mr. Navalny has rights under the Russian Constitution, he must be released immediately and unconditionally.

On the subject of the gas pipeline, in diplomacy there are conversations which are more difficult, which require a level of diplomacy and negotiations which are more delicate. At this level we are just starting conversations

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Your administration is facing its first migration crisis. 100 000 illegal migrants arrested in February. You repeat that the border is closed, but that does not stop the flow of migrants. The Republicans seized on this crisis. What are the possible solutions ?

It really is a difficult question. In any case, there is a message that the American president wants the world to hear: it is that America is back, diplomacy is once again at the center of our foreign policy. This was not the case during the last administration. What you are going to see, during the Biden administration, is a diplomacy that requires partnership, which is multilateral, but also human.

Read also: Faced with a historic influx, Joe Biden calls on migrants not to leave their country


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