Thursday June 10, 2021
“The US is back”
Biden calls for cohesion before the G7 summit
“The United States is back” – with these words Joe Biden sums it up when he arrives in Great Britain: The United States wants to strengthen alliances to defend democracy – and above all to stand up to one politician as one.
US President Joe Biden called for the start of his first trip to Europe to defend democracy and underlined the United States’ claim to leadership. “I think we are at a turning point in world history,” Biden told US soldiers at the Mildenhall Air Force Base in eastern England, which is used by the US military. “You know better than anyone that democracy does not come about by chance. We have to defend it. We have to strengthen it.” The US President added: “We must discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over.”
Two days before the start of the G7 summit in Cornwall, US President and First Lady Jill Biden arrived in Great Britain that evening. It is Biden’s first trip abroad since he took office in January. A bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planned in Cornwall on Thursday. The heads of state and government of the seven important western industrial nations meet in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay from Friday to Sunday.
According to the Washington Post and the New York Times, Biden wants to announce a generous vaccine donation at the summit. Accordingly, the USA wants to buy 500 million corona vaccination doses from Biontech / Pfizer at cost price in order to make them available to other countries. The first 200 million should therefore be delivered this year.
Meeting with Chancellor Merkel
On the sidelines of the summit, Biden also wants to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. At the end of their visit to Great Britain, the US President and First Lady will be received by Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday at Windsor Castle near London. On Monday, Biden will take part in the NATO summit in Brussels, where the next day a high-level meeting with EU representatives is on the program. An eagerly awaited summit meeting of Biden with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva is planned for next Wednesday, before the US president returns to Washington.
Speaking to the US soldiers, Biden said of his program: “At every point along the way we will make it clear that the United States is back and the democracies of the world stand together to address the toughest challenges and issues that affect our future are most important. ” The US sees itself obliged to “lead with strength,” stressed Biden. “Our alliances were not built by coercion or sustained by threats. They are based on democratic ideals, a shared vision of the future.”
“We are not looking for the conflict with Russia”
Biden said the G7 summit will also be about ensuring that new rules of conduct in cyberspace are determined by democratic values, not autocrats. “In Brussels I will make it clear that the United States’ commitment to our NATO alliance and Article Five is rock solid. It is a sacred obligation that we have under Article Five.” This article states that an armed attack against one or more NATO partners will be considered an attack against all member states of the alliance.
With a view to his summit with Putin in Geneva on Wednesday next week, Biden expressed his desire for a predictable relationship with Moscow. “We are not looking for conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship,” he said. “Our two nations share incredible responsibilities, including ensuring strategic stability and compliance with arms control agreements. I take this responsibility seriously.” Biden also warned that the United States would react if the Russian government committed “harmful acts” such as violating the sovereignty of other countries. He is meeting Putin “to tell him what I want to tell him” – and only after meeting “our closest democratic partners”.