Joe Biden: The outlines of a different US policy towards the world

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The Independent Online

I come to Europe on behalf of a new administration, an administration that's determined to set a new tone, not only in Washington, but in America's relations around the world. That new tone is rooted in a strong bipartisanship to meet these common challenges and we recognise that these challenges, the need to meet them, is not an opportunity, not a luxury but an absolute necessity.

In this moment our obligation to our fellow citizens is in our view to put aside the petty and political notions that reject the zero sum mentalities of rigid ideologies and to listen to and learn from one another and to work together for the common prosperity and security of all of us assembled in this room.

As we seek a lasting framework for our common struggle against extremism, we will have to work co-operatively with nations around the world – and we will need your help. For example, we will be asking others to take responsibility for some of those now at Guantanamo as we determine to close it. Our security is shared. So, too, I respectfully suggest, is our responsibility to defend it.

The last few years have seen a dangerous drift in the relations between Russia and the members of our alliance. It's time – to paraphrase President Obama – it's time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia. We will not agree with Russia on everything. For example, the United States will not, will not recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. But the United States and Russia can disagree and still work together where our interests coincide, and they coincide in many places.

The Iranian people are a great people. The Persian civilisation is a great civilisation. But Iran acted in ways that are not conducive to peace in the region or to the prosperity of its people; its illicit nuclear programme is but one of those manifestations. Our administration is reviewing policy toward Iran, but this much is clear: we will be willing to talk. We'll be willing to talk to Iran and to offer a very clear choice: continue down the current course and there will be continued pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear programme and your support for terrorism, and there will be meaningful incentives.

Taken from a speech by the US Vice President to the international security conference in Munich on Saturday