US President Joe Biden will begin his first trip abroad in June, announced the White House, to demonstrate his administration’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and reintegration into key allies.
Mr Biden will attend the Summit of the Group of Seven in Cornwall on June 11th and 13th, followed by a visit to Brussels, where he will meet with the leaders of the European Union, and on June 14th, the Summit of Heads of State or Government of Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty will participate (NATO).
The meetings with the United States’ closest allies come when Mr Biden invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to a summit in a third country in the coming months, although a date has not yet been set.
The youngest American presidents have chosen North American neighbors for their first cross-border trips, although former President Donald Trump, whose predilection for unilateral action and open skepticism towards the NATO alliance unsettled American allies, made his first overseas visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia .
For Mr Biden, the first trip is to turn the page of Mr Trump’s approach to alliances.
“It is both a practical opportunity to connect with key allies and partners about common opportunities and challenges,” said Yohannes Abraham, chief of staff and executive secretary of the National Security Council, in an interview with the AP.
“But it is also an example of something the President realized, that the transatlantic alliance is back, that revitalization is a major priority for him, and that the transatlantic relationship is a strong foundation for our collective security and prosperity built. “
For his part, Mr Biden held “virtual bilateral” meetings with the leaders of Canada and Mexico in February and March respectively.
The June trip follows Mr Biden’s first personal bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House last week and President Moon Jae-in’s planned visit of South Korea next month.
In Cornwall, Mr Biden will hold bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other political leaders.
He will hold further one-on-one talks with NATO allies in Brussels, said Jen Psaki, press spokeswoman for the White House.
“This trip will underscore his commitment to reestablishing our alliances, revitalizing transatlantic ties and working closely with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better safeguard America’s interests,” she said in a statement.
The announcement comes shortly after the close of Mr Biden’s two-day virtual climate summit, where he was commended by leaders, particularly from Europe, for bringing the US back to the Paris Climate Agreement and revisiting a number of other common concerns .
The trip will mark the most ambitious itinerary to date for Mr Biden since the coronavirus pandemic broke out as the president sought to model safe behavior for the nation.
It is because the US has stepped up its travel warnings for much of the world due to the virus.
Both the UK and Belgium are listed by the State Department under level four, the highest “do not travel” recommendation, and are subject to specific prohibitions that prevent most non-nationals from traveling to the US.
“There will be components of this journey that are likely to look and feel different than in the past because we take the health of everyone involved very seriously when we plan to do this,” said Abraham.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month lifted quarantine guidelines for international travel for people fully vaccinated against Covid-19. However, they continue to recommend that vaccinated people returning from overseas monitor their symptoms and have a test three to five days after they return to the US.