US to prioritise engagement with emerging Asian powers: Biden

Last Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 16:25

Washington: The US is revitalising and rebalancing its alliances to ensure prioritising engagements with allies, partners, and emerging powers in Asia, Vice President Joe Biden has said.
"We`re revitalising our alliances, including those of our oldest and closest partners in Europe. And we`re rebalancing to ensure that we prioritise engagements with allies, partners, and emerging powers in Asia, because we are a Pacific power," Biden said, publically swearing in Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department headquarters.

Kerry was sworn in as US Secretary of State yesterday at a public ceremony in Washington, having officially taken over from Hillary Clinton last week when he was sworn in at a private ceremony.

President Barack Obama`s "pivot" to Asia has been a key strategy of his administration`s foreign policy, a move that China has eyed with suspicion.
Biden, who just returned from an European trip, said that the US is in the process of turning the page on more than a decade of conflict, commencing with the September 11, 2001, attack on America.

"We responsibly are drawing down in Afghanistan. And by the end of next year, the transition to Afghan responsibility will be complete," Biden said.

"We are continuing to tackle the challenges in the Middle East, including Iran, North Africa, and Syria, and the peace process, God willing, with John at the helm, between the Israelis and the Palestinians," he said.

Kerry, at the swearing in ceremony, said, "I make clear today to those listening, while my preference is for a peaceful resolution to conflict, my journey has also taught me that when remedies are exhausted, we must be prepared to defend our cause and do what is necessary to stand up to extremism, terrorism, chaos, and evil".
"We will continue to do so. But the beauty of this place, and I do mean beauty of this place, is that before we have to make that choice, we have a lot of other choices in front of us. We can help people to help themselves," Kerry said.

"Today we tread on very new terrain. We`re in a world of unparalleled technology, unprecedented growth in the number of young people, of unleashed sectarian strife and religious extremism," he said.

"Unless we stay vigilant, these forces threaten to unravel whole nation states and create greater pockets of instability than we have seen in recent times," Kerry said.

"This is our challenge. I believe the US has to join with other nations to pool our resources, our talents, our thinking, and to create order where there is none, or try to fix what is broken.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 16:25

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