Yesterday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that cooperation between allies has become more important than at any time in recent history, and that relations with NATO and the European Union will be crucial in overcoming challenges.
Blinken, who spoke on the last day of a three-day visit to Brussels, continued what many European officials described as an attractive campaign to win support from allies who were marginalized within the four years of former US President Donald Trump in power.
“I came here with one focus point in my mind, which is to clarify the determination of the United States to revive our alliances and partnerships,” Blinken said.
“There is an advantage greater than at any time since I’ve been involved in such matters to find ways to work together,” added Blinken, who has long been trusted by US President Joe Biden and has worked in US foreign policy for decades.
The day before yesterday, Blinken obtained the European Union’s support for a US plan to counter Chinese influence together through a formal dialogue that Beijing hoped to avoid.
“It is a longstanding belief of the Biden administration and (Vice President Kamala) Harris to consult with friends early and often,” Blinken said.
China’s decision on Monday to respond forcefully to Western sanctions imposed on it over human rights violations appeared to have brought Europe and the United States closer. European governments have summoned Chinese ambassadors to them to explain that the measures taken against EU citizens go far beyond what Brussels has imposed.
Blinken also pledged to work with the European Union and NATO on the global distribution of safe and effective vaccines to confront the (Covid-19) pandemic, and to ensure preparedness for any future epidemics.
Blinken stressed that Europe will not have to choose between the United States and China, but he insisted throughout his journey that the West must show authoritarian countries that democracy is the most superior system.
This comes at a time when the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, called for the formation of a government capable of implementing reforms in the country.
Yesterday, the “National News Agency” quoted Dorothy as saying, after meeting with the Lebanese President General Michel Aoun: “We discussed with the President the need to form a government capable of implementing reforms, and America confirmed its permanent support for the Lebanese.”
And she considered that “it is important to focus on forming the government, and not obstructing it.” She said, “There is a need for brave leaders who are willing to put aside their partisan differences and work together to save the country from the multiple crises and wounds it has inflicted on itself and facing it. I am confident that you can do so.”
And she announced that she “spoke last night (before) only with a number of young political activists of various sects, and it was clear that they wanted a government that bore responsibility for their country and wanted an independent judiciary and the rule of law.”
“They want to root out the rampant corruption that robs the country and its people of the precious resources they desperately need,” she said. “They also said that they want the elections scheduled to take place next year to take place as scheduled.”
In turn, the Lebanese Presidency said, through its account on the social networking site “Twitter”, that President Aoun discussed with the American ambassador the current situation and government developments.
Saad Hariri was assigned, on October 22, to form a new government to succeed the government of Hassan Diab, who resigned on August 10, against the backdrop of the explosion of the fourth of the same month that rocked the port of Beirut.
The formation of a new government that Hariri wants from specialists and 18 ministers has stalled, after 18 visits by Hariri to the President of the Republic.
It is noteworthy that the formation of the government takes place by consensus between the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, according to the Lebanese constitution.
– US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea calls for the formation of a government capable of implementing reforms in the country.
North Korea launches two missiles into the sea
Yesterday, North Korea launched two missiles into the Sea of Japan, without specifying their type, but Tokyo confirmed that they were ballistic missiles, in an experiment that violates UN Security Council resolutions.
Firing rockets like this also poses a challenge to the new US president, Joe Biden.
The launch of the two missiles was announced first in Seoul, where the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the South Korean Army said in a statement that “two unspecified projectiles” were launched into the Sea of Japan, which the Koreans call the “East Sea.”
The statement did not specify the type of projectiles, but explained that they were launched from the southern province of Hamgyeong in central North Korea and traversed a path of 450 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 60 kilometers.
According to the Chief of Staff’s statement, the South Korean army subsequently “strengthened the monitoring situation, in close coordination with the United States,” South Korea’s main ally.
In Seoul, the Blue House, the South Korean presidential palace, announced an imminent meeting of the National Security Council to discuss these developments.
In Tokyo, also an ally of Washington, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed that the two projectiles fired by Pyongyang yesterday were ballistic missiles.
“North Korea launched two ballistic missiles,” Suga told reporters, noting that the last ballistic missile test conducted by Pyongyang dates back to March 29, 2020.
“This threatens peace and security in our country and the region, and it violates the United Nations resolution,” he added.
In turn, the US Pacific Command said yesterday that the North Korean missile launch highlights the threats that Pyongyang poses to its neighbors and the international community.
Last Tuesday, US President Joe Biden commented on North Korea’s launch of short-range missiles last weekend, saying that nothing had changed much. Capitals – agencies
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