Egypt end week in red, benchmark EGX 30 drops 0.56%    Egypt's stocks close in red on Tuesday as benchmark EGX 30 falls 0.72%    Fitch affirms Egypt's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at B+    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Russia to lift COVID restrictions on flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts on Nov. 9    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    Egypt hosts regional conference of EU refugee agency EASO    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Over 100 officials resign from Tunisia's main Islamist party    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egyptian court bans use of mosques for political purposes    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    Refugees in fear as sentiment turns against them in Turkey    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Huawei Technologies has invested $10 mln over 5 years in innovation centres in Egypt    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







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Biden pitching partnership after tough stretch with allies
Published in Ahram Online on 20 - 09 - 2021

President Joe Biden goes before the United Nations this week eager to make the case for the world to act with haste against the coronavirus, climate change and human rights abuses. His pitch for greater global partnership comes at a moment when allies are becoming increasingly skeptical about how much US foreign policy really has changed since Donald Trump left the White House.
Biden plans to limit his time at the UN General Assembly due to coronavirus concerns. He is scheduled to meet with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday and address the assembly on Tuesday before shifting the rest of the week's diplomacy to virtual and Washington settings.
At a virtual COVID-19 summit he is hosting Wednesday, leaders will be urged to step up vaccine-sharing commitments, address oxygen shortages around the globe and deal with other critical pandemic-related issues.
The president also has invited the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan, part of a Pacific alliance, to Washington and is expected to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House.
Through it all, Biden will be the subject of a quiet assessment by allies: Has he lived up to his campaign promise to be a better partner than Trump?
Biden's chief envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, offered a harmonious answer in advance of all the diplomacy: ``We believe our priorities are not just American priorities, they are global priorities,'' she said Friday.
But over the past several months, Biden has found himself at odds with allies on a number of high-profile issues.
There have been noted differences over the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the pace of COVID-19 vaccine-sharing and international travel restrictions, and the best way to respond to military and economic moves by China. A fierce French backlash erupted in recent days after the US and Britain announced they would help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
Biden opened his presidency by declaring that ``America is back'' and pledging a more collaborative international approach.
At the same time, he has focused on recalibrating national security priorities after 20 years marked by preoccupation with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and thwarting Islamic terrorists in the Middle East and South Asia. He has tried to make the case that the US and its democratic allies need to put greater focus on countering economic and security threats posed by China and Russia.
Biden has faced resistance and, at moments, outright anger from allies when the White House has moved on important global decisions with what some deemed insufficient consultation.
France was livid about the submarine deal, which was designed to bolster Australian efforts to keep tabs on China's military in the Pacific but undercuts a deal worth at least $66 billion for a fleet of a dozen submarines built by a French contractor.
French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled France's ambassadors to the US and Australia for consultations in Paris. France's foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said Australia and the United States had both betrayed France. Biden and Macron are expected to speak by phone in the coming days, a French government spokesman said.
``It was really a stab in the back,'' Le Drian said. ``It looks a lot like what Trump did.''
Biden administration and Australian officials say that France was aware of their plans, and the White House promised to ``continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences.''
But Biden and European allies have also been out of sync on other matters, including how quickly wealthy nations should share their coronavirus vaccine stockpiles with poorer nations.
Early on, Biden resisted calls to immediately begin donating 4% to 5% of stockpiles to developing nations. In June, the White House instead announced it was buying 500 million doses to be distributed by a World Health Organization-backed initiative to share vaccine with low- and middle-income countries around the globe. Biden is soon expected to announce additional steps to help vaccinate the world.
Allies among the Group of Seven major industrial nations have shown differing levels of comfort with Biden's calls to persuade fellow democratic leaders to present a more unified front to compete economically with Beijing. When the leaders met this year in England, they agreed to work toward competing against China. But there was less unity on how adversarial a public position the group should take.
Canada, the United Kingdom and France largely endorsed Biden's position, while Germany, Italy and the European Union showed more hesitancy.
Germany, which has strong trade ties with China, has been keen to avoid a situation in which Germany, or the European Union, might be forced to choose sides between China and the United States.
Biden clashed with European leaders over his decision to stick to an Aug. 31 deadline to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which resulted in the US and Western allies leaving before all their citizens could be evacuated from Taliban rule.
Britain and other allies, many of whose troops followed American forces into Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the United States, had urged Biden to keep the American military at the Kabul airport longer but were ultimately rebuffed by the president.
Administration officials see this week's engagements as an important moment for the president to spell out his priorities and rally support to take on multiple crises with greater coordination.
It's also a time of political transition for some allies. Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to leave office after Germany holds elections later this month and France's Macron is to face his voters in April at a moment when his political star has dimmed.
J. Stephen Morrison, a global health policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, expressed concern that the rift in US-France relations has occurred at time when global leaders are far behind their goals for vaccinating the globe and need to step up their efforts.
``We need these countries to be in a position to come forward around the type of agenda that the US has put together,'' Morrison said of Biden's planned vaccination push. ``So the French being absent or not terribly engaged is a setback.''


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