Biden brings focus back on Democracy & Diplomacy

London: With the world confronting the immediate crisis of a pandemic and the long-term challenge of climate change, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain met on Thursday.

Their meeting, as per a joint statement, focused on democracy, human rights and multilateralism; defense and security; science and technology; trade and prosperity; climate and nature; health; and the shared commitment to Northern Ireland.

The two leaders laid out their “global vision” in an updated version of the Atlantic Charter of 1941, the agreement authorized by Roosevelt and Churchill that established a set of post-war objectives for the two countries’ relationship.

President Biden is on his first visit abroad to attend the G7 summit in England, meet NATO and EU leaders in Brussels, and have a fraught one-on-one meeting with the Russian President Putin in Geneva.

Giving words to the message of this trip, Biden told US troops at an air base in eastern England on Wednesday, “We’re going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges.”

President Biden embraced allies that his predecessor, Donald J. Trump disparaged, saying nations must join forces on the pandemic, global warming, free trade and the challenges of China and Russia.

Under pressure to address the global coronavirus vaccine shortage, Biden announced on Thursday that the US will buy half a billion doses of vaccine and donate them for use by about 100 low- and middle-income countries, including India, over the next year.

“This is about our responsibility, our humanitarian obligation, to save as many lives as we can,” Mr. Biden said in a speech.

VP Harris’ stern message on migration

Vice President Kamala Harris with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Also traveling abroad, Vice President Kamala Harris met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Tuesday, capping her first foreign trip with a discussion on economic cooperation, as well as joint efforts to combat human trafficking and manage migration to their shared border.

According to a statement from her spokeswoman, the Biden administration would issue loans for affordable housing, efforts to grow cacao and coffee and infrastructure project development.

The U.S. will also invest $130 million over three years to support labor protections for Mexican workers and will also provide forensic training to Mexican officials seeking to find tens of thousands of missing people.

“The two leaders also agreed to increase cooperation to further secure our borders and ensure orderly immigration,” Ms. Sanders said.

Ms. Harris and Mr. López Obrador signed an agreement in Mexico’s national palace reiterating their governments’ commitment to deter migration north by addressing its root causes: poverty, persecution and corruption in Central America.

The meeting concludes a high-stakes visit for Ms. Harris to Mexico and Guatemala, where she was on Monday. She has been tapped by President Biden to be the administration’s emissary for one of its more complex and politically volatile issues: improving conditions in Central America and deterring migration to the U.S.-Mexico border.


Images courtesy of (Photo courtesy AP) and (Photo courtesy NYT)

Share this post