• Sunday, Feb 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:43 pm

Johnson, Biden discuss deepening alliance

  • Published at 11:38 am January 24th, 2021
Boris Johnson
British PM Boris Johnson speaks to US President Joe Biden from London, in this social media image obtained on January 23, 2021 Reuters

Johnson said he intended to resolve current trade issues 'as soon as possible'

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden on Saturday vowed to deepen ties and cooperate on tackling climate change in their first conversation since the US president's inauguration, the British prime minister's office said.

Johnson congratulated Biden on his inauguration and "the two leaders looked forward to deepening the close alliance between our nations", said the statement from Downing Street.

British newspapers reported that Johnson was the first European leader to receive a call from Biden, who earlier spoke to Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

The right-wing Sunday Telegraph reported that Johnson was the first leader outside North America to speak to Biden "after his scheduled call was brought forward two days in what will be seen as a major boost for the special relationship between the UK and US."

Biden on Friday spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his first call to a foreign leader.

The White House in a readout of the call said that Biden "conveyed his intention to strengthen the special relationship between our countries and also "noted the importance of cooperation, including through multilateral organizations, on shared challenges."

Johnson tweeted a picture of himself in shirt-sleeves laughing as he spoke on the phone. "Great to speak to President @JoeBiden this evening," he wrote.

The conversation appeared aimed at warming frosty relations after Biden in 2019 described Johnson as a "physical and emotional clone" of Donald Trump, his predecessor as US president.

Biden has also been critical of Johnson's Brexit policy, but the Downing Street statement said the leaders "discussed the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries."

Johnson said he intended to resolve current trade issues "as soon as possible."

Biden, who has Irish roots, had warned ahead of his election that if Brexit damaged the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, he would not consent to a trade deal. That agreement ended 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.

Johnson praised Biden for swiftly reversing policy decisions made by his predecessor. 

He "warmly welcomed" Biden's decision to put the United States back into the Paris climate accord and re-join the World Health Organization (WHO). The prime minister also praised Biden's commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Shared challenges

The leaders said they hoped to meet soon and would work together on the United Nations' global climate change summit to be held in Scotland in November.

The White House said shared challenges would include "combatting climate change, containing Covid-19, and ensuring global health security" and that Biden intended to "revitalize transatlantic ties, underscoring the critical role of Nato to our collective defence and shared values."

The leaders "re-committed to the Nato alliance" and "shared values in promoting human rights and protecting democracy," Johnson's statement added. Trump was highly critical of the transatlantic alliance.

The leaders also agreed on the "significant challenges facing the world during the pandemic."

The United States has the largest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world, while the UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe.

The leaders said the pandemic nevertheless created "unparalleled opportunities to build back better and greener together."

Johnson also praised Biden for joining the Covax initiative, a global pool of coronavirus vaccine doses for poorer nations.

The leaders additionally "discussed the need for coordination on shared foreign policy priorities, including China, Iran, and Russia," the White House said.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail