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British PM hails Biden as 'a big breath of fresh air'

ForexJun 10, 2021 22:22
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden holds up a challenge coin as he stands next to Sydney Glascock, Daughter of Command Chief of 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, ahead of the G7 Summit, near Mildenhall, Britain June 9, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque 2/2

By Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge

CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday as "a big breath of fresh air", and praised his determination to work with allies on important global issues ranging from climate change and COVID-19 to security.

Johnson did not draw an explicit parallel between Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump after talks with the Democratic president in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay on the eve of a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies.

But his comments made clear Biden had taken a much more multilateral approach to talks than Trump, whose vision of the world at times shocked, angered and bewildered many of Washington's European allies.

"It’s a big breath of fresh air," Johnson said of a meeting that lasted about an hour and 20 minutes.

"It was a long, long, good session. We covered a huge range of subjects," he said. "It’s new, it’s interesting and we’re working very hard together."

The two leaders appeared relaxed as they admired the view across the Atlantic alongside their wives, with Jill Biden wearing a jacket embroidered with the word "LOVE".

"It’s a beautiful beginning," she said.

Though Johnson said the talks were "great", Biden brought grave concerns about a row between Britain and the European Union which he said could threaten peace in the British region of Northern Ireland, which following Britain's departure from the EU is on the United Kingdom's frontier with the bloc as it borders EU member state Ireland.

The two leaders did not have a joint briefing after the meeting: Johnson spoke to British media while Biden made a speech about a U.S. plan to donate half a billion vaccines to poorer countries.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Biden, who is proud of his Irish heritage, was keen to prevent difficult negotiations between Brussels and London undermining a 1998 U.S.-brokered peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Britain that Biden had a "rock-solid belief" in the peace deal and that any steps that imperilled the accord would not be welcomed.

Yael Lempert, the top U.S. diplomat in Britain, issued London with a demarche - a formal diplomatic reprimand - for "inflaming" tensions, the Times newspaper reported.

Johnson sought to play down the differences with Washington.

"There’s complete harmony on the need to keep going, find solutions, and make sure we uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement," said Johnson, one of the leaders of the 2016 campaign to leave the EU.

Asked if Biden had made his alarm about the situation in Northern Ireland very clear, he said: "No he didn't.

"America, the United States, Washington, the UK, plus the European Union have one thing we absolutely all want to do," Johnson said. "And that is to uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, and make sure we keep the balance of the peace process going. That is absolutely common ground."

The 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to the "Troubles" - three decades of conflict between Irish Catholic nationalist militants and pro-British Protestant "loyalist" paramilitaries in which 3,600 people were killed.

Britain's exit from the EU has strained the peace in Northern Ireland. The 27-nation bloc wants to protect its markets but a border in the Irish Sea cuts off the British province from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Although Britain formally left the EU in 2020, the two sides are still trading threats over the Brexit deal after London unilaterally delayed the implementation of the Northern Irish clauses of the deal.

Johnson's Downing Street office said he and Biden agreed that both Britain and the EU "had a responsibility to work together and to find pragmatic solutions to allow unencumbered trade" between Northern Ireland, Britain and Ireland."

British PM hails Biden as 'a big breath of fresh air'
 

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Comments (18)
Hans Ontits
Hans Ontits Jun 10, 2021 23:14
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a big stinky bag of old musty wind
Drake Richards
Drake Richards Jun 10, 2021 22:47
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a big bag of wind
Pedro Gonzalez
Pedro Gonzalez Jun 10, 2021 22:32
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sympathiser
Karsten Böhm
Karsten Böhm Jun 10, 2021 21:07
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the headline on this changes dramatically over the day, says something about journalism phantasy and reality
Karsten Böhm
Karsten Böhm Jun 10, 2021 17:23
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what a rubbish headline again
david scott
david scott Jun 10, 2021 16:28
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The Evil Union have been lying to the European people for many decades don't trust a word they say
Niall Spillane
Niall Spillane Jun 10, 2021 15:01
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Arent Britain lucky to have such great neighbours to put them right when they lack the political leadership within.
sam orthona
sam orthona Jun 10, 2021 11:13
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Geriatric Joe Bumbling Biden should sort the sorry state of his own country before he start poking his nose in UK business.Global sxit stirrer extrordinaire
Howard Moore
Howard Moore Jun 10, 2021 9:33
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Ursula von der Liar...'We have bent over backwards on the NI Protocol'. Is that the new phrase for intransigence. Just enjoying a chilled sausage
Karsten Böhm
Karsten Böhm Jun 10, 2021 8:27
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misleading headline, he doesn't point out Britain instead urged both sides to act in respect of the Fridays agreement but some on the left are spreading again unresponsive pro EvilUnion propaganda
Drake Richards
Drake Richards Jun 10, 2021 8:17
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He says what his string pullers tell him to say
david scott
david scott Jun 10, 2021 7:51
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Indeed and the eu are jeopardising it with their petty diktats
John Smith
John Smith Jun 10, 2021 7:50
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The head of the installed regime can report back to the CCP that the Brits told him Trump Won.
Daniel LANSADE
Daniel LANSADE Jun 10, 2021 7:12
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US go home and mind your own business. Everywhere you go you create a mess.
Tudor Cirstea
Tudor Cirstea Jun 10, 2021 7:02
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Medling in the affairs of other countries
Niall Spillane
Niall Spillane Jun 10, 2021 6:41
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What a breath of fresh air Biden is.
Graham Kinnear
Graham Kinnear Jun 10, 2021 4:08
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Brexit and the voters wish to leave the EU it would seam takes second place to the Irish protocol. How does that square with democracy. We would never have needed the protocol if the US hadnt given sanctuary to terrorists while turning a blind eye to the supply of weapons that armed them.
Asl Qpr
Asl Qpr Jun 09, 2021 23:03
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Biden you have no say in the matter now go away.
 
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