US President Joe Biden's European tour is officially underway. The first stop on this exhaustive trip was the United Kingdom, where the US President held his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader, in this case the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. But the US president's trip has not been without controversy. Hours before his meeting with Johnson, The Times reported that Joe Biden had used diplomatic channels to accuse the Prime Minister of "inflaming" tensions in Northern Ireland.
On his arrival in the Anglo-Saxon country, the president addressed US soldiers stationed at the Royal Air Force base in Mildenhall, where he spoke of his objectives during the European tour. "I want to make clear that the Transatlantic Partnership will remain a vital source of strength for the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States," Biden said. As he has made clear on multiple occasions, with this tour he intends to strengthen alliances with his former partners, relations that went through their most critical moments during the previous Trump Administration.
The bilateral summit between the United Kingdom and the United States represents a return to the "Atlantic Charter", but adjusted to the new global challenges. That is, if the "Atlantic Charter" was a joint declaration between Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the challenges facing the world after the Second World War. Joe Biden and Boris Johnson have updated that statement to reflect the challenges and threats facing the world in the 21st century, strengthening cooperation between the two countries. According to the White House, the two leaders also discussed other current issues such as the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism and the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
After the summit, the US president will take part in the three-day G7 meeting. Joe Biden has emphasised the idea that "America is back" and that the "democracies of the world stand together to confront the toughest challenges and issues that affect our future". During the G7 summit, leaders attending the summit are expected to call for a new World Health Organisation (WHO) investigation into the origin of COVID-19, according to a leaked communiqué. Both the United States and the European Union have already independently demanded that the origins of the virus be clarified, but it is hoped that at the summit these days the world's top leaders can come up with a resolution forcing China to be more transparent so that more data on SARS-CoV-2 can be gathered.
In addition, Joe Biden announced before leaving for the UK that during the G7 summit he will announce the purchase of 500 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to be donated to the rest of the world. "I have a strategy (on global vaccination), and I will announce it," he said at Andrews Air Force Base (United States), before leaving for his European tour. In this way, the US leader hopes that other G7 leaders will join him in this initiative.
Another of the stops scheduled for US President Joe Biden is the NATO summit to be held in Brussels, where, after six months, President Pedro Sánchez and the US leader will have their first meeting. The First Vice-President of the Spanish Executive, Carmen Calvo, confirmed the news in an interview with TVE, where she assured that Sánchez will return this weekend from Costa Rica, where he is on an official trip, and will immediately travel to Brussels to attend the meeting of leaders of the Atlantic Alliance. Likewise, during the NATO meeting, Biden plans to meet with another of the great leaders of the moment, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with whom he has never been on good terms.
During his stay in Brussels, President Biden will take part in the US-EU Summit on 15 June. Joe Biden could take advantage of his presence in the EU to ease the tension in the relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit. The United States has offered to act as mediator on more than one occasion, and it is hoped that Biden can achieve some progress, especially with regard to Northern Ireland, although according to the White House, "the President of the United States has not come to the United Kingdom to give lessons on Northern Ireland".
President Joe Biden has decided to save the main course for the end of his European tour. The US president will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16 June. "When I meet with Vladimir Putin in Geneva, it will be after high-level conversations with friends, partners and allies who see the world through the same lens as the United States, and with whom we have renewed our connections and our shared purpose," he said. Joe Biden has a week ahead of him to bring all the democracies of the West together to stand united against the threats of the 21st century.