Nov 26, 2020 2 mins, 21 secs

That’s the message President-elect Joe Biden sent the world as he unveiled key Cabinet and national security picks earlier this week.

The picks, such as former Secretary of State John Kerry as the special presidential envoy for climate and Antony Blinken as secretary of state, are establishment figures with years of experience, who are expected to try and return the U.S.

We are on the same page on climate, on Iran, on NATO,” one European official said about the picks.

By contrast, Blinken, Kerry and Sullivan all played important roles in negotiating the 2015 Iran deal, while Kerry helped bring about the Paris climate accord.

Fluent in French, he attended high school in Paris before graduating from Harvard University and the Columbia Law School, and is a longtime Biden adviser who held important foreign policy and national security posts under Obama.

In France, the Le Figaro daily newspaper described him as a “francophile” who would lead Biden’s diplomacy and said his appointment after four years of a Trump presidency “looks like a small revolution.”.

It is European countries like France that will likely welcome America’s return to a multilateral approach to foreign policy and diplomacy.

Even in Israel — where the Biden administration is expected to be more critical of the government actions in the Palestinian territories — Blinken’s appointment was welcomed by foreign policy veterans, according to the left-of-center Haaretz newspaper.

But unlike Trump, Biden and his advisers have vowed to rally allies around a common front to push back against China on trade and other issues.

Climate activists, scientists and policymakers around the world have welcomed Biden’s decision to choose Kerry as the first official dedicated to climate change to be included in the National Security Council, according to Nicholas Stern, the chair of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics, who said Kerry was a good friend.

As secretary of state under Obama, Kerry made climate change one of his top priorities and helped to bring about the Paris climate accord, which Biden has pledged to rejoin once he takes office in January.

Kerry has a “deep” understanding of climate science and policy, and his appointment would be a boost not only for international action on climate change but also for multilateralism and respect for the United States internationally, Stern said.

The fact that it is the first time the National Security Council will include an official dedicated to climate change also sent an important message to the world that climate is a big security issue, he said

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the next administration’s approach to foreign policy in an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Tuesday, saying some members of the new team “lived in a bit of a fantasy world.”


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