Biden promises to end ‘forever wars’ as US president

US presidential hopeful Joe Biden has promised to end “forever wars”, including pulling most troops out of Afghanistan and ending support for the Saudi intervention in Yemen.

The former vice-president to Barack Obama is bidding to be the Democratic Party’s nominee to run against Donald Trump in next year’s election.

Speaking in New York, Mr Biden criticised Mr Trump for “embracing dictators who appeal to his vanity” and emboldening the rise of nationalism and xenophobia.

He also accused the president of damaging America’s reputation and ability to lead on the world stage.

Since taking power in 2016, Mr Trump has pulled the US out of two landmark agreements – the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal – and threatened to leave NATO.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Image: Mr Biden accused the president (here with Kim Jong Un) of ’embracing dictators who appeal to his vanity’

Mr Biden said he would re-engage with Iran if it complies with the terms of the 2015 deal, and would immediately rejoin the Paris accord, while also urging the likes of China to aggressively cut carbon emissions.

The 76-year-old pledged to “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East” – but said military force would always be an option.

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However, he said any such action must be a “last resort” with an “achievable mission”.

Most US combat troops still in Afghanistan would be pulled out if Mr Biden wins the election
Image: Most US combat troops still in Afghanistan would be pulled out if Mr Biden wins the election

Mr Biden said most US combat troops would leave Afghanistan, with America “narrowly focusing our mission” in the region.

Mr Trump’s high-profile meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un appear to have helped curtail the country’s missile tests, but Mr Biden said he would target tougher commitments from the country on abandoning its nuclear programme.

Among his domestic plans are ending the travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries and stop segregating migrant families at the US-Mexico border.

Ahead of Mr Biden’s speech, the Republican National Committee criticised his judgement on foreign policy, saying that he had advised Mr Obama not to carry out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and served as “salesman” for the “disastrous” Iran nuclear deal.

He also supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq – a move that has been denounced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Mr Biden’s other rivals for the Democratic nomination.

Mr Biden is the current frontrunner to go up against Mr Trump, according to a poll of 800 people this week by NBC News/Wall Street Journal.

It put him on 26%, with Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren second on 19%, and California senator Kamala Harris and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders both on 13%.

Source: SKY NEWS

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