Biden 2024 presidential election

2024 US Elections: Biden, Harris Officially Announce Re-Election Campaign

President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) announced that he will be running for a second term in office, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate.

“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours. That’s why I’m running for re-election as President of the United States. Join us. Let’s finish the job,” tweeted Biden.
This sets up the possibility of a rematch with Donald Trump. Moreover, Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders, a former two-time presidential candidate, said he endorses President Biden’s re-election bid on Tuesday, foregoing a third run for the White House.

According to the report, Sanders said he would “do everything I can to see the president is re-elected”, warning against a victory by former President Trump or another Republican, Fox News reported.

“The last thing this country needs is a Donald Trump or some other right-wing demagogue who is going to try to undermine American democracy or take away a woman’s right to choose, or not address the crisis of gun violence, or racism, sexism or homophobia,” Sanders reportedly said. “So, I’m in to do what I can to make sure that the President is re-elected.”

In the video titled “Freedom,” President Biden echoed his 2020 campaign message of battling for the “soul of our nation,” uniting the country, and supporting the middle class, his campaign said. The video opens with footage of the January 6 US Capitol protest.

“Freedom. Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans. There’s nothing more important. Nothing more sacred,” Biden, 80, said in the video. “That’s been the work of my first term: To fight for our Democracy. This shouldn’t be a red or blue issue.”

Vice President Harris also released a statement, calling the 2024 presidential election a “pivotal moment in our history.”

“For two years we have made transformational investments to build a nation in which everyone can be safe and healthy, find a good job, and retire with dignity,” she applauded.

“As Americans, we believe in freedom and liberty–and we believe that our democracy will only be as strong as our willingness to fight for it. That’s why @JoeBiden and I are running for reelection,” tweeted Harris.

Meanwhile, Biden and Harris remain immensely unpopular, with Biden’s approval ratings in the low 40s in most polls.

According to the latest Fox News national survey, his job performance rating currently stands at 44 per cent approve vs. 56 per cent disapprove.

Biden’s time in office has also been roiled by a series of world issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea launching ballistic missiles towards and over Japan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and China’s unchecked ascendancy in the Indo-Pacific region, including their pushing countries away from using the US dollar and from supporting Taiwan.

Domestically, Biden also has been subject to an investigation of mishandling classified information, which included documents spanning decades found at his different properties, violent crime remains high in cities across the country and the US-Mexico border faces record-high immigration figures, including the surge of deadly fentanyl. He also allowed a Chinese spy aircraft to float across the country.

His son’s involvement with the Chinese and a Ukrainian energy firm, and other business dealings have also raised issues for the administration.

Biden’s entry into the 2024 contest comes as several Republicans have already joined the running, including Biden’s 2020 opponent Donald Trump, Gov Nikki Haley, Sen Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy and others.

On the Democratic side, Robert F Kennedy Jr has announced his intention to seek his party’s nomination. (ANI)

Read More:

Joe Biden

3 Objects US Shot Down Were Not Likely To Be Spy Devices: Biden

The Intelligence Community has no indication that the three objects that were shot down in the past days were the surveillance craft from China, United States President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

Biden added that he expects to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Delivering remarks on the United States’ response to recent aerial objects, Biden said, “The Intelligence Community’s current assessment is that these 3 objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.”

The US shot down the giant balloon, which China claimed to be a civilian airship used for research mainly meteorological, on February 4 after it hovered over the country for a week.

“I want to be clear, we don’t have any evidence that there’s been a sudden increase in the number of objects in the sky. We’re now just seeing more of them partially because of the steps we’ve taken to increase our radars,” he added.

Biden further stated that all those 3 objects can be related to the Chinese spy balloon program or they were surveillance vehicles from any other country.

He suggested that he is not going to shoot down every weather balloon that the US sees but will watch out for future spy balloons.

“Make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety, and security of the American people, I will take it down,” US President added.

Biden suggests the newest objects were not part of a foreign spying program. “The three objects are most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions, studying weather or conducting other scientific research,” he said.

The United States is not looking for a “new Cold War” with China. “We’ll also continue to engage with China, as we have through the past two weeks,” Biden said adding that US diplomats will stay in touch with Chinese counterparts, and he will speak at some point with Xi Jinping, China’s leader.

Biden also made clear that in the future the procedure for taking down unknown objects will be classified, but will be shared with Congress. Earlier, members of Congress were critical of the White House for not sharing more information about the Chinese spy balloon program more quickly. (ANI)

Read More:

Eric Garcetti US Ambassador To India

Biden Re-Nominates Eric Garcetti As US Ambassador To India

United States President Joe Biden on Tuesday renominated Eric Garcetti, the former Mayor of Los Angeles, as an ambassador to India, the White House said after sending the nomination to the Senate.

In the statement, the White House said, “Eric M Garcetti, of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of India.”
Earlier, in December, the White House updated Mayor Garcetti’s nomination as ambassador to India update and said that they hoped that the full senate would confirm.

For more than a year, Garcetti’s nomination to be US ambassador to India – announced in July 2021 – is still in limbo. His nomination has been held up for months because of concerns among senators on both sides about allegations that he ignored alleged sexual harassment and bullying by one of his former senior political aides. Garcetti has repeatedly denied that he ignored those allegations, according to CNN.

Finally, in January last year, Garcetti’s nomination was announced.

In November, Pierre reaffirmed the Biden administration’s commitment to getting through the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as US ambassador to India.

Answering a question whether the White House will push the US Senate to finally get a vote on Garcetti’s nomination, Jean-Pierre said, “Absolutely. India is a very important relationship that we have. You — you saw the President greet and meet very briefly with Prime Minister Modi just last week when he was — in Bali. It’s an important relationship that — that we truly respect.”

“As for Mayor Garcetti, we are committed to getting him through the process. We are continuing — to talk to the Senate about making that happen. That is a priority of ours. And I just don’t have anything further to share on any strategy or anything else moving forward on that,” the White House Press Secretary added.

The United States continues to seek the expeditious confirmation of the Los Angeles Mayor, as the ambassador to India, following a long delay in the confirmation of his nomination.

Last year, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed the nomination of Garcetti to be the US Ambassador to India. However, the nomination needed to be confirmed by a majority of the US Senate.

Garcetti’s nomination came under a shadow after a Senate report released suggested that Garcetti had ignored a pattern of sexual harassment allegedly carried out by one of his top aides. (ANI)

Read More:

US China Pak

US Places China, Pak On List Of Religious Freedom Violators

The Biden administration has placed China, Pakistan, and 10 others on a list of countries that “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom” during 2022.

“Today, I am announcing designations against Burma, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“I am also placing Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros, and Vietnam on the Special Watch List for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom,” he added.

The United States has also designated nine groups including the Taliban, and the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group, as “Entities of Particular Concern.”

“I am designating al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, the Taliban, and the Wagner Group based on its actions in the Central African Republic as Entities of Particular Concern,” he said.

Noting that governments and non-state actors harass and kill individuals on account of their beliefs, Blinken said the United States will not stand by in the face of these abuses.

“In some instances, they stifle individuals’ freedom of religion or belief to exploit opportunities for political gain. These actions sow division, undermine economic security, and threaten political stability and peace,” he said.

The US Secretary of State said the announcement of these designations is in keeping with US values and interests to protect national security and to advance human rights around the globe.

He said that the United States will continue to carefully monitor the status of freedom of religion or belief in every country around the world and advocate for those facing religious persecution or discrimination.

“We will also regularly engage countries about our concerns regarding limitations on freedom of religion or belief, regardless of whether those countries have been designated,” he added. (ANI)

Read More:

Modi Biden G20 summit

Modi, Biden Share Warm Hug At Bali

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on Tuesday shared a warm hug as the G20 Summit began in Bali.

In a photo shared by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders are seen shaking hands
“PM @narendramodi and @POTUS @JoeBideninteract during the @g20org Summit in Bali. G20 working session on Food and Energy Security,” Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

The two leaders will participate in the G20 working session on Food and Energy Security today.

PM Modi also greeted and shook hands with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Earlier today, PM Modi was greeted by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo at the venue.

Upon his arrival in Bali on Sunday night, PM Modi received a traditional welcome.

“Grateful to the Indian community for the warm welcome in Bali!” the prime minister tweeted.

The 17th edition of the G20 Summit will extensively focus on key issues of global concern under the theme of ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’.

As part of the G20 Summit Agenda- Three working sessions will be held on food and energy security, health, and digital transformation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with leaders of several other participating countries on the sidelines of the summit and review the progress in India’s bilateral relations with them.

According to the departure statement of the PM released by the Prime Minister’s Office, “India’s G20 Presidency will be grounded in the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth One Family One Future’, which underlines the message of equitable growth and shared future for all.”

Indonesia’s President will hand over the G20 Presidency to India at the closing ceremony of the Bali summit. India will officially assume the G20 Presidency from December 1, 2022. PM Modi will extend personal invitations to G20 members and other invitees at the G20 summit scheduled to be held in India in 2023. (ANI)

Read More:

After 2nd US Bank Collapses, Biden To Brief On Maintaining Banking System

Biden: US Will Continue To Work With UK Govt

Shortly after British Prime Minister Lizz Truss resigned from office, US President Joe Biden on Thursday said he will continue close cooperation with the UK government to meet the global challenges that the two nations face.

“I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine. We will continue our close cooperation with the U.K. government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face,” Biden tweeted.
On Thursday, Liz Truss’ resignation as UK Prime Minister threw the country into political turmoil and left it scrambling for a stable government, as the opposition reiterated its demand for a general election.

Truss became the shortest-serving British PM after she stepped down, stating that she recognises she “cannot deliver the mandate” on which she was elected. Truss said she would step aside for a new leader to be chosen within the next week. “

“I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party,” she added.

Following Truss’ resignation, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer issued a scathing statement that ripped into the Conservative Party and called for a general election.

“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. We need a general election now,” he said and added that “Each one of these crises was made in Downing Street but paid for by the British public. Each one has left our country weaker and worse off.”

Truss stepping down was preceded by the sacking of UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and the resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman tendered her resignation.

Liz only remained in power for 45 days after succeeding Boris Johnson last month. (ANI)

Read More:

Pak To Summon Blome, Issues Demarche Over Biden’s Statement

The Pakistan government is set to summon US Ambassador Donald Blome for an official demarche over American President Joe Biden’s statement regarding the country’s nuclear capability, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.

While addressing the news conference, Bilawal said, “We will call their ambassador and issue a demarche, but I don’t think this was an official function […] it wasn’t an address to the parliament or an interview,” according to Dawn
This statement came after US President Biden, at a Democratic congressional campaign committee reception, said that Pakistan may be “one of the most dangerous nations in the world” as the country has “nuclear weapons without any cohesion”, according to the statement released by the White House.

“And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion,” the White House quoted Biden as saying.

The remarks on Pakistan were made while Biden was talking about US foreign policy with regard to China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Biden concluded by saying he considered Pakistan to be the most dangerous country in the world.

“This is a guy (Xi Jinping) who understands what he wants but has an enormous, enormous array of problems. How do we handle that? How do we handle that relative to what’s going on in Russia? And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion,” said Biden, as quoted in a White House press release of his remarks at the Democratic party event.

Addressing the conference at the Bilawal House in Karachi today, the foreign minister said that Pakistan’s nuclear assets “meet each and every international standard in accordance with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as far as security and safety is concerned”.

“I am surprised by the remarks of President Biden […] I believe this is exactly the sort of misunderstanding that is created when there is a lack of engagement.”

Bilawal said that Pakistan had embarked on a “journey of engagement” and just marked the 75th anniversary of bilateral engagements with the US, according to Dawn.

“If this was such a concern, I imagine it would’ve been raised in that meeting with me, I believe that we have just started our journey of engagement and we will have many more opportunities to engage with the US and address any concerns and misconceptions they might have to this specific question,” Bilawal said as quoted by Dawn.

Although, Bilawal said that he doesn’t believe it negatively impacts the relations between Pakistan and the US. but still, Biden’s remarks could be seen as a setback to the Shehbaz Sharif government’s bid to improve ties with the US. (ANI)

Read More:

Dangerous Nations: Biden’s Candid Comment On Pakistan

In perhaps the most candid statement made against it, US President Joe Biden described Pakistan as “one of the most dangerous nations” in the world which holds “nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”

The US President made these remarks at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Reception in Los Angeles (California), during which he berated both China and Russia.
The remarks on Pakistan were made while Biden was talking about US foreign policy with regard to China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Biden concluded by saying he considered Pakistan to be the most dangerous country in the world.

“This is a guy (Xi Jinping) who understands what he wants but has an enormous, enormous array of problems. How do we handle that? How do we handle that relative to what’s going on in Russia? And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion,” said Biden, as quoted in a White House press release of his remarks at the Democratic party event.

Biden’s remarks could be seen as a setback to the Shehbaz Sharif government’s bid to improve ties with the US.

At the event, Biden said there were enormous opportunities for the US to change the dynamic in the second quarter of the 21st century.

“So, folks, there’s a lot going on. A lot going on. But there are also enormous opportunities for the United States to change the dynamic in the second quarter of the 21st century,” the US president said.

These comments come two days after the release of the US National Security Strategy. The 48-page document makes no reference to Pakistan.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration released the Congress-mandated key policy document, underlining the threat posed to the US by both China and Russia.

The National Security Strategy states that China and Russia who earlier this year announced a “no-limits partnership” are increasingly aligned with each other but the challenges they pose are distinct.

“We will prioritize maintaining an enduring competitive edge over the PRC while constraining a still profoundly dangerous Russia,” it adds.

The policy document contends that competition with China is most pronounced in the Indo-Pacific, but it is also increasingly global.

The US Security Strategy highlighted that the next ten years will be a decisive decade of competition with China.

On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the document says Moscow’s “imperialist foreign policy” culminated “in a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in an attempt to topple its government and bring it under Russian control.” (ANI)

Read More:

Joe Biden

US Make Efforts To Counter China’s Growing Influence In Pacific

To counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific, the United States has dialed up every effort and made attempts that would reduce the possibility of other countries in the Pacific region getting into China’s orbit, Global Strat View reported.

Recently, US president Joe Biden held a summit with 14 Pacific Island where they issued an 11-point Declaration on US-Pacific Partnership, declaring that they shared a vision for a region where “democracy will be able to flourish.”
“We share a vision for a resilient Pacific region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity, where individuals can reach their potential, the environment can thrive, and democracy will be able to flourish,” read the declaration on US-Pacific Partnership.

Washington’s plan to deepen diplomatic engagement with the Pacific comes as concerns about China’s expanding influence in the region.

During the summit, US President said, “The security of America, quite frankly, and the world depends on your security and the security of the Pacific islands.”

According to the Global, Strat View citing Derek Grossman, an analyst with the global think tank RAND Corporation, earlier, Washington had not been that active in strengthening the ties with Pacific countries. Still, the latest summit shows that the US is changing its outlook, especially in the wake of China’s expanding influence in the region.

“We are still all working from, generally speaking, the same sheet of music, which is we don’t want the Chinese establishing a military foothold in the region, and we don’t want them corrupting the institutions of the region,” he said as quoted by Global Strat View.

Biden announced that Pacific island nations will receive around USD 810 million in funds under the ‘Pacific Partnership Strategy.

The US is working at a micro level in order to remain strong in the Pacific region. This involves financial investments, defense cooperation, police training, COVID assistance, and climate support.

One of the highlights of the summit is the participation from the Solomon Islands as it has recently, in May, met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

In the recent summit, Solomon Island opposed China’s reference to US Pacific Partnership Declaration. It had previously denied US and UK ships access, resulting from Beijing’s influence. All this has added to the US concerns about the Solomon Islands became a China ally, reported Global Strat View. (ANI)

Read More:

Biden’s West Asia Tour – Who Had The Last Laugh?

American President Joe Biden was on a four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, his first trip to the Middle East since taking office last year, with a lot of expectations about resetting the ties with Saudi Arabia and also giving a new direction to US policies in the Middle East.

The visit started with meetings in Israel to expand security ties and discuss Iranian belligerence in the region. He next went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he attempted to reassure regional leaders – and the rest of the world – that his administration remains committed to actively engaging in the Middle East and counter any Russian or Chinese plans to expand their geopolitical influence.

US-Saudi Arab Relations

Coming in the backdrop of the continuing Russia-Ukraine war and spiralling global oil prices, the visit was also seen as a rapprochement by the U.S. President to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), whom he blamed for the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and thus pave the way for softening the Saudi stance on increased oil production.

However, the manner in which the two leaders greeted each other with a fist bump has been criticised both by fellow Democrats and Republicans, due to its undiplomatic nature and also as a middle ground to thaw the ice, perhaps on the advice of their key lieutenants.

Also the version given by Biden and Saudis as to whether the President admonished MbS seem to vary, thus indicating that the President was ready to give up his old stance for the Saudi agreement to increase its oil production, though ultimately he got no such assurance.

The meetings in Jeddah largely seemed to go along with the planned reset of the U.S. relationship with the kingdom, and Biden announced several new areas of cooperation aimed at reshaping US-Saudi relations.

ALSO READ: Ukraine War Will Script New World Order

However, the President did strike an optimistic note that regional leaders would soon take action given that the next OPEC meeting will take place in early August, after his parley with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders in Riyadh.

US-Iran Ties

Biden is also under pressure to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region, and during the visit he made a commitment to the US playing a large role in the Middle East for years to come.

In Israel, Biden repeatedly vowed to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon and said he believed diplomacy remained the best avenue to keep Tehran from obtaining one.

Biden has pushed for a revival of the Iran nuclear deal, which former president Donald Trump withdrew the US from in 2018, as he faces increasing pressure from key Middle East allies to produce a plan to contain Iran. But hopes appear to be fading that a deal will materialise, and the President acknowledged that the U.S. is “not going to wait forever” for a response from Iranian leadership.

US-Israel Relations

America’s relationship with Israel has also been strained in recent years. Obama and former Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu shared a strained relationship over Palestine, and the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran also soured the relations.

But the Biden administration’s renewed efforts to re-implement the Iran nuclear deal, coupled with warnings over Israel’s expansion of settlements in the West Bank, have further complicated U.S. -Israeli relations again.

In addition, US is also worried about the growing Russian and Chinese influence in the region. Iran has cosied-up to Russia significantly in recent years and the Chinese have made themselves more useful both to the Saudis and Emiratis in defence and trade sectors.

The New Approach

His critics say that Biden to an extent continued with the old American baggage. And if he really wants to rest the American foreign policy for West Asia and its Arab allies, it will have to adopt a more proactive and less preaching stance with a new perspective, too. Biden himself said during the trip that he continues to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve a new outcome.

But to achieve that outcome, he’ll have to pursue soft-diplomacy also. Additionally, the U.S.  should try to give-up the mentality to solve every problem or conflict with military means and tactics, instead it should try to focus and see the alternative opportunities available to help the people of the Middle East achieve greater freedom and prosperity which they desire.

For this, the renewed American focus should prioritise its interests through better security management for itself and its allies. Ensuring that terrorist threats from the Arab world should remain a focus of U.S. engagement in the region.

Further, it should focus on economic welfare of the region. The Middle East’s energy resources remain critical to the global economy. In addition, the U.S. should try to foster lasting economic ties with emerging centres of innovation in the region.

Additionally, it should focus on values and rights, which the United States supports i.e. religious freedom, women’s rights, and freedom of expression. These should be promoted through its soft diplomacy or public diplomacy channels. There is a huge aspiration amongst the people of the region to fill-up the chasm between what is available and what they wish for, ensuring dignity and prosperity for all.

At the same time, it should try to engage more with the young generation amongst the Arabs, the 13th edition of the Arab Youth Survey found that over 90% of Saudi youth, who form nearly two-thirds of the country’s population, see the U.S. as an ally. This should be its target audience

It should focus on boosting bilateral ties in new areas such as tourism, information technology, and clean energy and focus less on energy sector.

It should launch joint initiatives on human security challenges such as in the health sector, economic security, human rights, and climate change. It should engage in renewed diplomatic efforts to end conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. Try to contain and engage Iran with diplomacy backed by a balanced regional security strategy. Renewed diplomacy with Iran must include America’s regional security partners in order to produce lasting results. It should strive for greater regional integration with renewed and inclusive diplomacy on the Arab-Israeli front, too.

Overall, the visit failed to accomplish what Biden wanted to achieve in the region, and for any success the U.S. will have to fully recalibrate its policy towards the Middle East, Iran and Israel in the short-term for long-term gains and keeping the Russians and Chinese at bay in the region.

(Asad Mirza is a political commentator based in New Delhi. He writes on issues related to Muslims, education, geopolitics and interfaith)