Biden begins three-nation tour with UK visit before NATO summit

United States President Joe Biden has kicked off a three-nation trip dominated by a NATO summit aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine amid disagreements over Kyiv’s possible accession into the alliance.

Biden arrived in the United Kingdom, a key US ally, late on Sunday.

The US president will meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street. Sunak’s spokesperson said their discussions would probably include the upcoming NATO summit, which starts in Vilnius on July 11, and Ukraine.

“As we face new and unprecedented challenges to our physical and economic security, our alliances are more important than ever,” Sunak said in a statement released by his office on Saturday.

“The UK is Europe’s leading NATO ally, we are the United States’ most important trade, defence and diplomatic partner, and we are at the forefront of providing Ukraine with the support they need to succeed on the battlefield,” he added.

Biden will also Britain’s King Charles for the first time since his May coronation, the White House said, to hold talks focusing on climate change and the environment.

NATO summit in Lithuania

The main part of Biden’s Europe trip will be the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the Western allies will discuss helping Ukraine oust invading Russian forces.

Biden is expected to use the summit to pressure Turkey into dropping opposition to Sweden’s NATO membership bid, after Ankara accused Stockholm of being too lenient toward groups it regards as a security threat, including Kurdish armed groups and people associated with a 2016 coup attempt.

In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, Biden “conveyed his desire to welcome Sweden into NATO as soon as possible,” the White House said.

The two leaders “expressed their shared commitment to continue supporting Ukraine,” the statement added.

مقالات ذات صلة

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى