President Joe Biden commences his high-stakes visit to Europe, beginning with the United Kingdom, where Ukraine and the environment will take center stage. His itinerary includes meetings with U.K. politicians and a one-on-one with King Charles III.
Arriving in the U.K. on Sunday, President Biden’s first stop is a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles III. This marks their first one-on-one interaction since the king’s coronation and is aimed at further strengthening the close relationship between the two nations, according to the White House.
The Downing Street eagerly anticipates President Biden’s arrival, with Prime Minister Sunak emphasizing the significance of the U.K. as America’s foremost trade, defense, and diplomatic partner.
One of the key topics on President Biden’s agenda during this European tour is providing support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Additionally, the discussions will cover the Atlantic Declaration, a newly forged U.S.-U.K. partnership announced last month, which focuses on enhanced cooperation in trade defense, data protection, and security.
Climate change will also feature prominently in President Biden’s discussions, as he engages with King Charles, who has a vested interest in environmental matters. The meetings will take place at Windsor Castle, where philanthropists and investors will join the discussions.
President Biden’s previous visit to the U.K. was in September, when he attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. However, his absence at the king’s coronation, along with certain remarks he made about the U.K.’s relationship with Ireland, drew criticism from conservative commentators and sections of the political class, fueling perceptions of anti-British sentiment. This perception was further heightened when President Biden seemingly hindered U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace’s candidacy for NATO’s top job.
Continuing his journey, President Biden will travel to Lithuania for this year’s NATO Leaders Summit, where Ukraine’s situation will be discussed further. He will also visit Finland, NATO’s newest member, whose officials will be attending the summit for the first time as Security Alliance members.
As the NATO summit coincides with the controversial provision of “cluster munitions” to Ukraine, President Biden has referred to this decision as a difficult one. The discussions at the summit will involve various critical matters impacting international security.