US President Joe Biden to travel to the UK in June in first overseas visit

23 April 2021, 16:39 | Updated: 23 April 2021, 16:56

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

Joe Biden is to visit the UK in his first overseas travel as President of the United States, to "restore alliances".

The White House has issued a statement, saying President Biden "will travel to the United Kingdom and Belgium in June 2021. This will be the first overseas travel by President Biden."

The statement says this trip will "highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances", and revitalizing the Transatlantic relationship.

President Biden will be working "in close cooperation" with US allies and multilateral partners "to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests."

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President Biden will attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall, which is happening from June 11-13, "where he will reinforce our commitment to multilateralism, work to advance key U.S. policy priorities on public health, economic recovery, and climate change, and demonstrate solidarity and shared values among major democracies".

He will also hold bilateral meetings with fellow G7 leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to the statement.

The announcement comes shortly after the conclusion of Mr Biden's two-day virtual climate summit, in which he received praise from leaders, for returning the US to the Paris Climate Agreement and re-engaging on other issues of shared concern.

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From the UK, President Biden will then travel to Brussels, Belgium, where he will participate in the NATO Summit on June 14.

The June trip will follow after President Biden's first in-person bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House last week and next month's planned visit by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.

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The statement adds: "President Biden will affirm the United States’ commitment to NATO, Transatlantic security, and collective defense. NATO leaders will discuss how to orient the Alliance to future threats and ensure effective burden sharing. The President will also hold bilateral meetings with fellow NATO leaders.

"While in Brussels President Biden will participate in a U.S.–EU Summit, which will underscore our commitment to a strong Transatlantic partnership based on shared interests and values. The leaders will discuss a common agenda to ensure global health security, stimulate global economic recovery, tackle climate change, enhance digital and trade cooperation, strengthen democracy, and address mutual foreign policy concerns,".

It concludes: "We look forward to having further details to share about this trip soon, including potential additional elements."

This trip comes as the US has stepped up its travel warnings for much of the world due to the virus.

Both the UK and Belgium are listed by the State Department under level four, the highest, "do not travel" advisory.