Biden to visit UK, Belgium for G-7 and NATO meetings in first overseas trip as president

Biden to visit UK, Belgium for G-7 and NATO meetings in first overseas trip as president

President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on February 5, 2021.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will make his first overseas trip as president in June as he heads to the United Kingdom and Belgium for crucial meetings with allied nations, the White House said Friday.

This news comes amid Biden’s virtual climate summit with global leaders as he pushes for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. On Thursday Biden vowed to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030.

The Biden administration has said it would seek to reset links with various allies in the wake of President Donald Trump’s often-tumultuous relationships with other nations. Trump criticized fellow NATO nations, saying they weren’t paying their fair share on defense spending.

Biden will begin his travel speaking at the G-7 Summit in Cornwall, U.K., where he’ll also hold bilateral meetings with leaders such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. That summit will occur June 11-13.

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The president will 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,” the White House statement read.

Biden will then travel to Brussels to attend NATO and U.S.-EU meetings, where he plans to further advance American interests. The NATO meeting is set for June 14.

One topic for NATO discussion could be Russia’s recent escalation of its troop presence on its border with Ukraine to the highest level it’s been since 2014. However, Russia on Thursday ordered those troops to begin returning to their home bases after what it called a successfully completed “snap inspection.”

Another potential discussion point could be NATO’s withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan, where the alliance’s noncombat Resolute Support Mission has aided Afghan troops since 2015.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said further details about Biden’s trip were to come, “including potential additional elements.”