Sec. of State Antony Blinken started his first full day as the U.S.’s top diplomat Wednesday with a pledge to bring back American management worldwide, a sharp contrast to the previous administration’s tone concerning diplomacy, which left the nation largely isolated on the global stage.

Spending his first 24 hours as top diplomat consulting with U.S. longtime allies, Blinken described the desire to have America back at the table as “practically palpable.”

” What I’ve picked up from those discussions currently is an extremely, very strong desire for the United States to be back in the room, back at the table, dealing with them on the numerous, many common challenges we deal with,” Blinken stated following telephone call to foreign equivalents in the Western Hemisphere, Asia and Europe. “And I expect to hear more of that in the days ahead.”

Stopping to make a traditional very first day speech to State Department staff members in Washington, Blinken acknowledged that a strong global presence requires a strong U.S. State Department and the diplomatic company these days was not the one he left four years before.

Former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo under then-President Donald Trump dealt with widespread criticism for politicizing the historically nonpartisan organization and the restructuring of the agency under previous Sec. Rex Tillerson just intensified rates of attrition. Blinken committed to rebuilding the morale and trust of the diplomatic corps.

” The world is enjoying us intently right now. They want to know if we can heal our nation,” Blinken said, resolving the couple of masked diplomats able to welcome him under Covid-19 constraints. “They wish to see whether we will lead with the power of our example … And if we will put a premium on diplomacy with our allies and partners to satisfy the terrific challenges of our time.”

The State Department will spend Blinken’s very first couple of months in workplace reviewing many of the policy choices made by Pompeo on his escape the door, including putting a hold on last-minute arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Blinken stated Wednesday that he was particularly focused on reassessing the Trump administration’s decision to identify the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group a foreign terrorist company. The Houthis or Ansar Allah control 80 percent of Yemen and the sanctions are seen by international help companies as pushing a nation currently on the brink of scarcity into additional humanitarian crisis.

” It’s critically important even in the middle of this crisis that we do everything we can to get humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, who remain in desperate requirement,” Blinken said Wednesday. “And what we want to do is make sure is that any actions we’re taking do not get in the way of providing that help.”

But on Afghanistan, President Joe Biden’s new secretary of state drew less difference from his predecessor, expressing the requirement to first totally understand the commitments made by both the United States and Taliban in their arrangement. He validated that Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, who led U.S. negotiations with the Taliban during the Trump administration, will remain on as U.S. Envoy in the Biden administration.

Image: Abigail Williams Abigail Williams

Abigail Williams is a manufacturer and reporter for NBC News covering the State Department.


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