NewsEuropeBiden arrived in the UK on his pre-NATO summit stop in Lithuania

    Biden arrived in the UK on his pre-NATO summit stop in Lithuania

    US President Joe Biden began his trip to Europe with a stopover in the United Kingdom, where on Monday he will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles III. His visit aims to discuss various issues, such as the climate crisis, the situation in Ukraine and its eventual entry into the Atlantic Alliance. On Tuesday, both will go to Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, for the NATO summit. The president’s last stop will be in Finland, in a meeting with the leaders of the Nordic countries.

    US President Joe Biden arrived in London on Sunday evening on Air Force One and will be received by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street on Monday.

    Both leaders will discuss the importance of arming Ukrainian troops in response to the Russian invasion. Although Sunak told reporters on Saturday his disapproval of the shipment of cluster bombs to Ukraine, it is unknown whether this issue will be on the meeting’s agenda. All this after the North American nation confirmed on Monday that it will send this type of ammunition to the kyiv Army.

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    Biden will also be at Windsor Castle on the same Monday, where he will be received by King Charles III. It will be his first meeting after the coronation of the British monarch, since he did not appear at the protocol event in May, an absence that was the target of criticism from media related to the Crown.

    During his stay in the United Kingdom, the US president will also presumably address the transatlantic relationship and the post-Brexit situation. He previously expressed concern about the impact of Brexit on the peace process in Northern Ireland and welcomed the deal reached between the UK and the EU in February to resolve trade disputes in the region.

    Biden’s stop in the United Kingdom and his participation in the NATO summit in Lithuania highlight the priority that the internal situation of the Atlantic Alliance and its commitment to its European allies represent on the US foreign agenda. From the White House they want to lay the foundations for greater cooperation and coordination between member countries, especially in the context of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

    Cluster bombs at the center of the debate in Vilnius

    The leader of the world’s largest economy and the most prominent member of NATO is facing criticism and concerns from his allies, including Britain, over his decision to provide cluster bombs to Ukraine. A type of ammunition prohibited by the Oslo Treaty, signed by more than 120 countries, including the United Kingdom -although not by Washington, Moscow or Kiev-. Sunak, for example, stated that the UK “advises against” its use.

    FILE – International activists and delegations stand with cluster bomb units during a visit to a Lebanese military base at the opening of the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, in the southern city of Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, September 12, 2011. The Biden administration has decided to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine and is expected to announce on Friday, July 6, 2023 that the Pentagon will send thousands as part of the latest military aid package for the war effort against Russia, according to people familiar with the decision. AP – Mohammad Zaatari

    NATO, for its part, continues to discuss the possible entry of Ukraine into the defensive institution. Although no immediate membership is expected, NATO leaders have agreed to bring Ukraine closer to the Atlantic Alliance through support and cooperation measures.

    NATO has provided non-military assistance to Ukraine, such as medical equipment and support for the security and defense sector. “I don’t think there is unanimity in the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,” the US president told CNN. Biden stated that he does not believe that Ukraine is ready to join the group of 31 and that its eventual membership should only be discussed when the conflict has ended.

    The position of the United States generated debate among the allied countries. Some member states support the immediate inclusion of Ukraine, while others expressed reservations due to the ongoing war. Despite the differences, the leaders are expected to reach a consensus on the issue during the summit to be held between Tuesday, July 11 and the 12th in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

    Finland, the final stop of Biden’s tour

    In April, the Nordic country became NATO’s 31st member, ending its history of non-alignment and highlighting how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had negative repercussions in Europe.

    Although Sweden was scheduled to join along with Finland, its admission has stalled due to objections from Turkey and Hungary. During a White House meeting, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson pushed for membership, but it is unlikely to be resolved during the Vilnius summit. For his part, Biden pressured his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Sunday to withdraw the veto on Stockholm’s entry into the Alliance.

    Biden’s visit to Helsinki, labeled the “US-Nordic Leaders’ Summit,” stands in stark contrast to the previous visit by a US president five years ago, when Trump downplayed Russian interference in the election.

    Instead, Biden is seeking to demonstrate his Administration’s tough stance against Moscow and strengthening Western defenses.

    With information from Reuters, AP and EFE

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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