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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will defend his decision to end America's military mission in Afghanistan as he addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday for the first time as president.
Biden is also expected to discuss the Covid pandemic, climate change and the challenges posed by China.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was scheduled to be the first head of state to address this year's gathering, at 9 a.m. ET. Biden will speak after Bolsonaro.
"America is back. We believe in the United Nations and its value," Biden said Monday evening before a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Biden's debut address to the 193-member body since taking office in January comes three weeks after a chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of 13 American service members and an incomplete global evacuation mission of vulnerable Afghan nationals and U.S. citizens from the country.
On a separate front, Biden infuriated France, America's oldest ally, last week when he announced an arms deal that effectively ruins one of the largest French military contracts.
The blowback from Paris resulted in the recall of the French ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.