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Johnson met Biden ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall

The first overseas visit of Joe Biden as the President of the United States was to one of their oldest allies, the United Kingdom

by: Isti Miskolczy

Boris Johnson welcomed his American counterpart Joe Biden in Cornwall just a day before the G7 summit, which starts today (11th of June) and finishes on Sunday (13th of June). The two leaders had one-to-one discussions behind closed doors on Thursday, but the Prime Minister is expected to host a comprehensive press conference at the end of the three-day-long G7 meeting.

Except for a mandatory photo and some Twitter messages, not much has been revealed from their talk, but the BBC understands that among others

Biden and Johnson discussed concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

"Together we are going to build back better from the pandemic, help to vaccinate the world, and make 2021 the decisive moment in the fight against climate change" - tweeted Johnson with making a reference to Biden's campaign-winning slogan of "Build Back Better" which is also the US President's three-part agenda to "rescue, recover and rebuild the country".

Indeed, the main points on the agenda of the G7 summit are reported to be recovery from the pandemic, vaccinations, trade, and climate change.

"This is a compelling agenda for global recovery, ambitious yet achievable, provided we summon the will and the ingenuity. Britain is privileged to chair the G7 and to play our part, alongside our kindred democracies, in setting this immense effort in train." - wrote Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an article ahead of the summit.

"The scale of the challenge demands no less" - he added.

Participants are also expected to attend a reception with Her Majesty the Queen and other royalties. Melinda Gates and UK Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance will also address the participants, albeit this will be done virtually.

Following the arrival of the President of the United States on Thursday, the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and French President Emmanuel Macron have landed in Cornwall on Friday morning. Even though the European Union is officially not part of the G7 countries, their leader(s) are usually invited to the discussions.

St Ives, Cornwall, where the summit is taking place.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are still to arrive at the time of the publication of this article, with another guest, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to be joining online.

The last in-person summit was held in Biarritz, France in 2019 due to the eruption of the pandemic. PM Johnson chairing the 2021 conference comes as in this year the UK is assuming the presidency of the G7. This meeting, however, is not going to be the only UK-organised major political event in 2021. Johnson is also expected to host the COP26 conference in November in Glasgow.


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