Biden to head to U.K. and Belgium for first trip abroad
▶ Watch Video: Biden tells world leaders that “America is back”
President Biden will be going to the United Kingdom and Belgium in June for the G7 Summit and for the NATO summit, marking his first trip abroad as president. Mr. Biden’s key message to allies has been that America is back, after former President Trump at times mocked leaders of the nation’s closest allies and championed an “America first” platform.
Typically, presidents travel abroad sooner than this in their presidencies, but COVID-19 caused many of the events that would be typical for a U.S. president in his first months to be modified into virtual gatherings. Mr. Biden will attend the G7 summit in Cornwall, U.K, which will take place June 11-13, as well as the the NATO summit on June 14 in Brussels, Belgium.
“This trip will highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalizing the Transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The trip comes after Mr. Biden hosted a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, which the president had promised to convene in his first 100 days.
The G7 Summit and NATO will mark the first significant gathering of allies since before the pandemic.
In the U.K., Mr. Biden will hold bilateral meetings with other G7 leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to Psaki. He will also attend other meetings with NATO leaders in Brussels.
The president is also slated to participate in a U.S.-European Union Summit, “which will underscore our commitment to a strong Transatlantic partnership based on shared interests and values,” Psaki said.
The selection of a first trip abroad by a new president is typically closely watched at home and abroad. Mr. Trump chose to go to Saudi Arabia, while former President Obama went to Canada.