A new era of American leadership is at hand: Obama

January 23rd, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 23 (IANS) President Barack Obama has said the US will seek new partnerships around the world to meet the shared threat to security as it sets out to renewing American leadership through diplomacy.”A new era of American leadership is at hand, and the hard work has just begun,” he said Thursday in an appearance at the State Department to underscore “my commitment to the importance of diplomacy in renewing American leadership.”

Signalling a clear shift from the policies of former President George W. Bush, he named two special envoys - one for Afghanistan and Pakistan and other for Middle East peace - while asking his top defence officials to come up with plans for “a responsible military drawdown in Iraq.”

Obama also signed three executive orders to declare the US will not torture, close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and determine how to hold and try terrorism suspects to best protect “our nation and the rule of law.”

“Difficult days lie ahead,” he told the nation’s diplomats. “As we ask more of ourselves, we will seek new partnerships and ask more of our friends and more of people around the globe, because security in the 21st century is shared.”

“But let there be no doubt about America’s commitment to lead. We can no longer afford drift, and we can no longer afford delay, nor can we cede ground to those who seek destruction,” Obama declared.

“The inheritance of our young century demands a new era of American leadership,” he said. “We must recognize that America’s strength comes not just from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth but from our enduring values.”

“And for the sake of our national security and the common aspirations of people around the globe, this era has to begin now,” Obama said.

“The world needs to understand that America will be unyielding in its defence of its security and relentless in its pursuit of those who would carry out terrorism or threaten the United States,” he said.

“Once again America’s moral example must be the bedrock and the beacon of our global leadership, Obama said, as it is “confronted by extraordinary, complex and interconnected global challenges: war on terror, sectarian division and the spread of deadly technology.”

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