Joe Biden says UK-US relationship is ‘rock solid’ as he meets Rishi Sunak

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Joe Biden on Monday described the UK-US relationship as “rock stable” at talks in Downing Avenue with Rishi Sunak, despite variations rising between the 2 sides forward of this week’s Nato summit.

The US president’s choice to ship cluster munitions to Kyiv is at odds with Britain’s opposition to their use, and Quantity 10 stated the UK prime minister had “discouraged” their deployment throughout talks in London.

Downing Avenue stated Britain, as a signatory to a conference banning cluster weapons, was obliged to “discourage” their use by non-signatories, however privately British officers stated talks on the problem had been amicable.

In the meantime, the US and Germany are underneath intense strain from different allies to indicate larger help for Ukraine’s eventual membership of Nato.

Washington and Berlin have backed a type of phrases for the summit’s concluding assertion that doesn’t absolutely endorse a “pathway” to membership of the safety alliance, not to mention invite Kyiv to affix as soon as the warfare is over — as demanded by Ukraine’s staunchest supporters in jap Europe.

Downing Avenue stated Sunak believed Ukraine’s “rightful place is in Nato” and that it was working with allies to create a “pathway” for it to affix, whereas recognising Kyiv couldn’t accede whereas the warfare with Russia was ongoing.

Nevertheless, Quantity 10 insisted that there was no distinction in method to the problem between the US and UK. Referring to reviews of a break up, a spokesperson for Sunak stated: “I don’t imagine that’s correct.”

Throughout his assembly within the Downing Avenue backyard with Sunak, Biden stated he “couldn’t be assembly with a better buddy and larger ally”.

Each leaders confused a typical dedication to hold on arming Ukraine in its warfare towards Russia; the UK and US are the 2 greatest donors to Kyiv’s navy operations.

Biden arrived at Stansted airport close to London on Sunday night time and met each Sunak and King Charles throughout his quick go to earlier than heading to the Nato summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, afterward Monday.

British officers privately admitted that Biden’s important motive for stopping over in Britain was to fulfill the monarch at Windsor Fort, affording a photograph alternative historically beloved of US presidents.

Biden didn’t attend the King’s coronation this yr — US presidents don’t normally attend such occasions — and mentioned local weather change with the monarch over tea. He was greeted by the band of the Welsh Guards.

Biden’s go to got here little greater than a month after Sunak met him on the White Home and marked their fifth assembly in 5 months. “We coated a lot of the floor we wanted to cowl in Washington,” stated one UK official.

Sunak and Biden additionally briefly mentioned the Northern Eire peace course of after Brexit and the latest settlement to reform post-Brexit buying and selling guidelines for the area, the so-called Windsor framework.

Britain and the US are usually aligned on international coverage and just lately concluded the Aukus defence pact with Australia in a push to counter China’s rising navy may.

Final week, Karine Jean-Pierre, White Home press secretary, dismissed criticism that Biden had not attended King Charles’s coronation in Might. “He had a name with the King and congratulated him,” she stated.

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