United States – Before Geneva, Biden is on his way to Europe

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Joe Biden flew Wednesday morning to the United Kingdom, the first stop before his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

US President Joe Biden with his wife Jill on Wednesday as he leaves the White House for Europe and Geneva.

Getty Images via AFP

Nearly five months after coming to power, Joe Biden traveled to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, the first leg of a European tour during which he intends to insist on the stability of the transatlantic alliance given his head-to-head confrontation. With Vladimir Putin. Immediately before taking off on Air Force One, the US president confirmed that the purpose of his trip was to make it clear to “Putin and China that the United States and Europe (united).”

Accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, the Democratic leader will participate in the G7 summit in Cornwall, where the Covid-19 pandemic and climate will be among the priorities. First leg of the tour: Mildenhall Base in the east of the UK, where the President will speak to members of the US Air Force. A meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled for Thursday. On Sunday, Joe Biden will visit at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II, who has ruled the country for 69 years.

“My trip to Europe is an opportunity for America to mobilize democracies around the world,” emphasized the one who, since coming to power, insists on the return of the United States (“America is back”) and intends to participate fully in the world. things. How did the tenant in the White House prepare for this eight-day trip, which will also take him to Brussels and during which he will double the bilateral meetings?

«Il se prépare depuis 50 ans», a répondu sa porte-parole Jen Psaki, dans une allusion à la très longue carrière politique du président de 78 ans qui fut élu pour la première fois au Sénat en 1972, de à l’âge years. She insisted that “he has known some of these leaders, including President Putin, for decades”.

Parmelin and Cassis before Putin

The summit with Vladimir Putin, scheduled for June 16 in Geneva, will be the culmination of this first trip, which comes at a time when Joe Biden is struggling in his country, against a backdrop of tensions within his camp. Ukraine, Belarus, Fate of imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, Cyber ​​attacks: Discussions promise to be bitter and difficult, especially on this last point. The cyber question will be “the topic of our discussion,” Joe Biden confirmed Wednesday before his departure.

In a lighter and always tone before boarding, Joe Biden warned reporters in attendance to “watch out for cicadas,” one such insect infesting the eastern United States after it landed on his neck a few seconds earlier. The day before, another plane that was supposed to carry reporters covering the White House was grounded, after a swarm of cicadas invaded its engines. On Russia, the White House, exchanging conciliatory messages and warnings, insists it has modest expectations. The only goal is to make relations between the two countries more “stable and predictable”.

“The problem is that Putin does not necessarily want a more stable and predictable relationship,” sums up US diplomat Alexander Vershbow, a former number two in NATO. The US Presidency has provided few details about the behavior of this tête-à-tête. I only hinted that, unlike what happened with Donald Trump in Helsinki in 2018, a joint press conference between the two men was not on the agenda.

According to information received from Blake, Union President Guy Parmelin and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis will receive Joe Biden on Tuesday, June 15, one day before the meeting between Vladimir Putin and the US President in Geneva.

80 million doses

Biden, who remains on the tarmac at Andrews Military Base, a Washington suburb, added that he plans to unveil a global vaccine strategy soon. The White House is under fire for being late in sharing its Covid-19 vaccines with the rest of the world, and is now trying to take the lead on the issue. Joe Biden insists that “the United States is determined to act on international vaccination with the same sense of urgency that we have shown in our country.”

Washington just announced that 75% of the 80 million doses of vaccines promised to foreign countries by the end of June will be distributed via the Covax sharing device. The latter was created to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines, especially in low-income countries.

(France Press agency)

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