Joe Biden has embarked on his first foreign trip as president of the United States, in which he is scheduled to meet his European partners and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The eight-day trip will begin with a meeting on Thursday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, before the two leaders set out for the G7 summit.
Biden will also meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and then join the first NATO summit, which he will attend as US president.
Biden said his tour is centered on “America’s mobilization of the democratic forces of the world.”
Awaiting his arrival Wednesday at Mildenhall Air Force Base in Suffolk, an enthusiastic audience watched Air Force One descend at the base.
Meanwhile, a plane chartered for White House press crew failed to take off from Washington after large numbers of cicadas got into the plane’s engine. The journalists were stuck overnight at Dulles International Airport until a replacement plane was arranged.
What can we expect from the G7 summit?
The G7 summit will be among the highlights of Biden’s visit.
The Group of Seven is an organization made up of the seven major countries with the most advanced economies in the world, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The summit will be held this year in Cornwall, southern England. The leaders are due to arrive on Friday, with meetings to begin the next morning.
The main topic of discussion will be recovery from the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic, including the existence of a “strong global health system that can protect us all from future epidemics.”
The summit agenda also includes issues of climate change and trade.
Biden is expected to warn that the UK-EU trade row could jeopardize peace in Northern Ireland. He will call on his fellow leaders to protect the gains of the “Good Friday” agreement.
At the end of the summit, the UK – as the host country – will publish a document outlining what has been agreed between the leaders.
When will he meet Putin?
The first US-Russia summit during Biden’s presidency will be held in Switzerland on June 16.
It comes at the conclusion of Biden’s tour, giving the US president plenty of time to hear what America’s allies have to say before the meeting.
The White House has hinted that Biden plans to discuss “a full range of pressing issues” with his Russian counterpart, including arms control, climate change, Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Russian hacking activities and the imprisonment of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.
Last week, Putin lowered expectations for the meeting, saying he hoped to improve the “very low level of relations” between the two countries but said he did not expect any major progress.
What else will Biden do?
Ahead of the G7 summit, President Biden is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The White House said the meeting “will underscore the strength of the enduring special relationship” between the two countries.
The two leaders participated in a virtual summit on climate hosted by the United States last April, but they have not yet met face to face.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. .
It will be the 95-year-old’s first meeting with a foreign leader since the death of her husband, Prince Philip.
The next leg of Biden’s tour will be in Brussels, where he will meet with leaders of other NATO countries.
Relations with NATO were strained under his predecessor Donald Trump, but NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – on a visit to the White House on Monday – praised Biden’s “strong commitment” to US allies.