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Achievements Of Principled Diplomacy


President Barack Obama delivers the State of Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

U.S. security and leadership depend on all elements of American power, including “strong and principled diplomacy.”

During his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, President Barack Obama said that in a world of complex threats, U.S. security and leadership depend on all elements of American power, including “strong and principled diplomacy.”


Mr. Obama pointed to a series of achievements using such diplomacy: the rallying by the United States of more than 50 countries to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands, which allowed the U.S. to reduce its own reliance on Cold War stockpiles; the diplomatic push by the United States – backed by the threat of force – which induced Syria to agree to hand over its chemical weapons to be destroyed:

We will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve – a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear.”
U.S. President Barack Obama
“And we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve – a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear.”

American diplomacy, Mr. Obama said, is also “supporting the Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in the difficult but necessary talks” to end the conflict in the Middle East “to achieve dignity and an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel.”

In addition, President Obama noted, “It is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolled back parts of that program for the very first time in a decade”:

“Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. It’s not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify every day that Iran is not building a bomb. And with our allies and partners, we’re engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Mr. Obama said that the coming negotiations with Iran will be difficult, and he emphasized they will not rely on trust. “Any long-term deal we agree to,” President Obama said, “must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb…If Iran’s leaders do seize the chance -- and we’ll know that soon enough – then Iran could take an important step to rejoin the community of nations, and we will have resolved one of the leading security challenges of our time without the risks of war.”
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