Joe Biden Apologizes to Europe for Trump; Vows to Work with ‘Friend’ Angela Merkel

US President Joe Biden end his virtual speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, to the Munich Security Conference in Germany, on February 19, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden reassured European leaders Friday that he would once again work with them, apologizing for former President Donald Trump’s approach while in office.

“I’m sending a clear message to the world America is back … we are not looking backward, we are looking forward together,” Biden said.

The president delivered remarks virtually from the White House to the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“The last four years have been hard but Europe and the United States have to lead with competence once more,” he said.

While not naming Trump explicitly in his speech, Biden repeatedly lamented damages to the European relationships with the United States and promised to revert back to the way it used to be.

“I know the past few years have strained and tested our transatlantic relationship, but the United States is determined to reengage with Europe, to consult with you, to earn back our position of trusted leadership,” he said.

As part of his message to Europe, Biden specifically promised to work with European leaders including his “good friends” and “outstanding leaders” like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a leader that Trump challenged during his presidency.

“Let me erase any lingering doubt, the United States will closely with our European Union partners, and the capitols across the continent,” he said.

Biden said he appreciated a “whole” Europe united under the European Union and spoke about their goal to unite against global competitors like Russia and China.

“Competition from China is going to be stiff,” Biden said. “That’s what I expect. That’s what I welcome.”

Biden said Europe and the United States had to be “clear-eyed” about public spending into the future and promised to work to prevent threats like climate change.

He also warned of the threat posed by Russia, citing the importance of protecting Ukraine from Russian incursion.

“The challenges with Russia may be different than the ones with China but they are just as real,” he said.

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