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Live: Biden addresses UN after Afghanistan, French submarine crises

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US President Joe Biden on Tuesday delivers his first UN General Assembly speech since he came to power. Biden’s debut address is set to focus on global challenges from China and climate change. But the hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan and his handling of the Australia submarine deal, which has angered France, overshadows the US president’s promise to restore US credibility and trust.

Biden hopes to present a compelling case that the US remains a reliable ally to its partners around the world after years of “America First” policies pursued by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.

“America is back. We believe in the United Nations and its value,” he said Monday evening before a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

But Biden’s failure to extend the August 31 Afghanistan withdrawal deadline and the hasty US pullout during a lightning-fast Taliban takeover has left America’s NATO allies scrambling and disappointed with Washington’s foreign policies.

Last week France recalled its ambassador to the US over a submarine deal that undermined a French contract to supply Australia with a dozen diesel-powered submarines.

France was outraged because Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a plan last week for Australia to get nuclear-powered submarines using US technology.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, Biden will “lay out the case for why the next decade will determine our future, not just for the United States but for the global community, and he will talk…about the importance of re-establishing our alliances after the last several years”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.


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