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America ready to lead: Obama

world Updated: Jan 23, 2009 09:05 IST
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Revoking some of the previous Bush regime's globally criticised policies related to interrogation at the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison and CIA detention centres, US President Barack Obama has claimed America is now ready to lead again.

"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. A new era of American leadership is at hand, and the hard work has just begun," Obama said in his maiden address to the State Department officials last afternoon.

Given the current situation across the globe, Obama acknowledged difficult days lie ahead. "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," he said.

Earlier, at the same function, his deputy and Vice President, Joe Biden, said, "We've come here today to the State Department to send a very clear message, a clear message at home as well as abroad that we are going to reinvigorate America's commitment to diplomacy."

This effort will be led by Secretary Clinton, Biden said, adding she has the knowledge, the skill, the experience, as well as that sort of intangible commodity of having personal relationships with many of these world leaders, which makes her uniquely qualified to put diplomacy back in the forefront of America's foreign policy.