US President Joe Biden said that he was freezing troop withdrawal from Germany and ending the country’s support for offensive operations in the Yemen conflict.
In his first major foreign policy speech since taking office on January 20, Biden on Thursday outlined his foreign policy vision focused on diplomacy, alliance, multi-lateralism, and values, standing in contrast with his predecessor Donald Trump’s “America First” approach, reports Xinhua news agency.
Biden in the speech also unveiled several policy changes regarding the Yemen conflict, US forces posture in Germany, and refugee issues.
He said that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin would initiate a global forces posture review to ensure that US military footprint is appropriately aligned with foreign policy and national security priorities.
“And while this review is taking place, we’ll be stopping any planned troop withdrawal from Germany,” he said.
The former Trump administration announced a repositioning plan for nearly 12,000 US troops stationed in Germany last summer, a controversial move that drew criticism from home and abroad.
Biden also reversed the previous administration’s position on the Yemen conflict.
“We are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” he said.
He noted that the US would step up diplomacy and support UN-led initiative to end the war, which he called a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe”.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers previously introduced several measures to curtail US support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s war in Yemen, but those attempts were thwarted by Trump.
Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had appointed Timothy Lenderking, a veteran diplomat with long experience in regional affairs, as the US special envoy to Yemen.
The President in his remarks also said he would restore the US refugee admission program to accept 125,000 refugees during the first full fiscal year of his administration, a significant increase compared to the number in the Trump era.