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Biden aims to rally allies' support in first foreign trip

·Chief Political Correspondent
·3 min read

President Joe Biden is heading to Europe for the first international trip of his presidency. Throughout the trip he'll meet with world leaders in an effort to shore up alliances and build support among allies to counter emerging threats with a united front. 

As he left for Europe on Wednesday, Biden told reporters the goal of the trip was "strengthening the alliance and make it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight."

G7 Summit

The president will first attend the G7 summit in Cornwall. He'll meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, aimed at highlighting the "special relationship" between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.  

Biden is expected to meet with other world leaders at the G7 summit as well. Leaders are expected to discuss the pandemic, economic recovery, climate change and trade. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the G7 leaders would announce a new initiative to "provide financing for physical, digital and health infrastructure" in the developing world — an alternative to China's Belt and Road initiative. 

President Joe Biden salutes as he steps off Marine One before boarding Air Force One upon departure, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Joe Biden salutes as he steps off Marine One before boarding Air Force One upon departure, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Over the weekend, the G7 Finance ministers announced an agreement of a global minimum tax of a least 15%. The world leaders are expected to endorse the plan, though it's already facing opposition from Republicans in the United States. 

As he left for Europe, Biden told reporters he planned on announcing a vaccine plan for the world. 

This weekend, the President and Dr. Biden will meet with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. The Queen has met with every American president since she's been on the throne, except for Lyndon B. Johnson. 

NATO

After meeting with the Queen, Biden will head to Brussels to meet with the leaders of NATO. During meetings and conversations with world leaders, President Biden will stress the importance of working with allies to confront challenges presented by Russia and China. Sullivan told reporters Biden will also "reinforce the importance of burden-sharing." 

While in Brussels, Biden will also take part in a U.S-EU summit, during which the administration says he will focus on aligning approaches to trade and technology. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a ceremony to unveil a monument to Russian Emperor Alexander III of Russia, in Gatchina, about 45 kilometers south of St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel, TASS/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a ceremony to unveil a monument to Russian Emperor Alexander III of Russia, in Gatchina, about 45 kilometers south of St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel, TASS/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Meeting with Putin

Biden will wrap up his trip by meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland. Sullivan told reporters Biden would press the Russian president on U.S. priorities and values. 

"We do not regard a meeting with the Russian president as a reward. We regard it as a vital part of defending America's interests and America's values," said Sullivan. "Joe Biden is not meeting with Vladimir Putin despite our countries’ differences; he's meeting with him because of our countries’ differences. There is simply a lot we have to work through."

Sullivan said Biden is intentionally having the sitdown after consulting with and building support among democratic allies during the G7 and NATO meetings, in order to come into the meeting with "the wind at his back."

Biden is facing pressure to press Putin on cybersecurity after a series of hacks and ransomware attacks, some of which appear to have originated within Russia's borders. 

When asked if he would reach an agreement with Putin on cyberattacks, Biden did not make any commitments. 

"Who knows at this point," he said. "It's going to be a subject of our discussion." 

Jessica Smith is chief political correspondent for Yahoo Finance, based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.

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