Washington, DC – Antony Blinken took over the reins of the State Department on Wednesday with a promise to rebuild the agency’s ranks and lean on its experts as the Biden administration tries to restore America’s global standing.
On his first full day in office, Blinken assured an employee turnout limited by the coronavirus that he values their work and dedication. He also said that a hard road awaits them with the world observing how they approach foreign policy after four years of the nationalist and isolationist doctrine of Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden has vowed to reverse Trump’s approach, which alienated many traditional allies who perceived it as a tough and one-sided approach. Blinken promised that after those four years, the United States will resume cooperation with the allies on a reciprocal, not purely transactional basis.RELATED
“The world is watching us closely right now,” Blinken stressed. “He wants to know if we can heal our nation. He wants to know if we can lead by example and if we will prioritize diplomacy with our allies to respond to the great challenges of our times such as the pandemic, climate change, the economic crisis, threats to democracies, struggles for social justice and the danger to our global security and stability presented by our rivals and adversaries ”.
Blinken, 58, a veteran Biden aide, was confirmed as the 71st secretary of state by the Senate in a 78-22 vote Tuesday. The position has the highest rank in the cabinet, being fourth in the line of presidential succession. Under Secretary of State in the Obama administration, Blinken promised the return of the leadership of the United States.
“American leadership is needed around the world and we will provide it, because the world is more likely to solve problems and face challenges when the United States is present,” he said. “At its best, America is more capable than any other country to mobilize others for the common good.”
Shortly after being confirmed Tuesday night, Blinken went to work, making his first series of phone calls to foreign ministers in neighboring countries and allies: Mexico, Canada, Japan and South Korea.