Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call | TheHill – The Hill
President Biden on Saturday committed to strengthening the United States’ relationship to the United Kingdom and its other NATO allies in a phone call with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday.
According to a readout of the call shared by the White House, on the first call with Johnson since Biden’s inauguration, the president “conveyed his intention to strengthen the special relationship between our countries and revitalize transatlantic ties, underscoring the critical role of NATO to our collective defense and shared values.”
The White House added that Biden signaled his desire to work closely with Johnson as the U.K. hosts the G-7 and United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this year.
The phone call also included discussions on the “need for coordination on shared foreign policy priorities, including China, Iran, and Russia.”
Johnson was the first to announce the call on Saturday, tweeting a photo of him on the phone with the president and adding that he looks “forward to deepening the longstanding alliance between our two countries as we drive a green and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.”
Great to speak to President @JoeBiden this evening. I look forward to deepening the longstanding alliance between our two countries as we drive a green and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/Y4P3G74PPz
In the phone call, which was Biden’s first with a foreign leader since taking office, the two agreed to meet next month as Washington and Ottawa seek a reset in relations after four years of tension.
Canada has historically been the first foreign trip for any new U.S. president.
Biden on his first day in office signaled a desire to return to multilateralism, including through an executive action committing the U.S. to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which Trump had withdrawn the U.S. from following criticism that it hurt American workers.
Biden has described the renewed commitment as a down payment on his climate plan, which calls for putting the country on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Biden’s call with Johnson comes as both countries battle increasing rates of COVID-19 infections, exacerbated by the new strain first found in the U.K.