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America indispensable in world affairs: Obama

Joining issue with those suggesting that Washington’s influence was on the decline, President Barack Obama has asserted that America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs and he intended to keep it that way.

world Updated: Jan 25, 2012 12:01 IST

Joining issue with those suggesting that Washington’s influence was on the decline, US President Barack Obama has asserted that America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs and he intended to keep it that way.

“Yes, the world is changing; no, we can’t control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs - and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way,” he said in his third annual State of the Union address to a joint sitting of the Congress on Tuesday.

“Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” Obama said, turning to foreign policy issues in his 65-minute address focused on the economy.

“That’s not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That’s not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they’ve been in years,” he said.

“The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper,” Obama said.

“Our iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history. We’ve made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope,” he said.

“From the coalitions we’ve built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we’ve led against hunger and disease; from the blows we’ve dealt to our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back,” Obama said.

Seeking the cooperation of opposition Republicans, he said: “When we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can’t achieve. That is the lesson we’ve learned from our actions abroad over the last few years.

“Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the Al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America,” he said by way of examples.