U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden gives a speech at the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 2, 2013. Senior U.S., Russian and U.N. officials, along with the leader of the Syrian opposition, were all expected in Munich on Saturday, providing a rare opportunity for talks to revive efforts to end the civil war in Syria. (Photo : REUTERS/Michael Dalder)
Early on Saturday morning, Vice President Joe Biden admitted that he does President Obama's dirty work when it comes to traveling around the world. In a speech addressing the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Biden expressed gratitude to be there rather than the places where Obama sends him like Afghanistan and Iraq with Republican Senator John McCain.
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"I have traveled over 640,000 miles since I've been vice president, and most of the time the president sends me to places that he doesn't want to go. So I've spent an awful lot of time with McCain and others in Afghanistan and Iraq, and so it's nice to be here in Germany," joked the veep. "It's nice to be invited back."
Biden's stop in Munich is a part of his five-day journey to Germany, France and Britain with his wife Dr. Jill Biden. He also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of the Syrian Opposition Coalition and talked about ending the war in Iraq as well as the efforts by the US and Europe to restrain Iran. Later on the trip, he plans to meet with President François Hollande in Paris Prime Minister David Cameron in London.
Biden also hinted at Obama's upcoming State of the Union speech stating:
"President Obama will say more about this agenda next week in his State of the Union address, and I've learned as vice president it's not a good thing to steal the president's thunder... I've learned that. I've gotten better after four years of this.
But it will reflect our shared interests in the following areas: advancing a comprehensive nuclear agenda to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, reduce global stockpiles and secure nuclear materials - and I am looking forward - Sam told me of the initiative that he and his colleagues are thinking about, and we're anxious to hear it - getting - combating climate change, moving it up on the agenda; enhancing our development initiatives to promote global health and food security and end extreme poverty in the near future; strengthening our alliances, which are essentially - essential to our ability to meet our challenges in the 21st century; continuing to take down barriers to trade including with Europe to spur growth on both sides of the Atlantic; maintaining our commitment to the elusive but essential goal of Middle East Peace; and strengthening the - engaging the democracies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and across the Middle East."