WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden departs for Britain on Wednesday on his first trip abroad since taking office, an eight-day mission to rebuild trans-Atlantic ties strained during the Trump era and to reframe relations with Russia, reports Reuters.
The trip represents a test of the Democratic president's ability to manage and repair relationships with major allies who grew disenchanted with then-President Donald Trump's trade tariffs and withdrawal from international treaties."Will the democratic alliances and institutions that shaped so much of the last century prove their capacity against modern-day threats and adversaries? I believe the answer is yes. And this week in Europe, we have the chance to prove it," Biden said in an opinion article published in the Washington Post.
His summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva is the capstone to the trip, an opportunity to raise US concerns directly with Putin about ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow's aggression against Ukraine and a host of other issues.
Biden will make his first stop at the seaside village of St. Ives in Cornwall where he will participate in the G7 summit. The meeting is expected to be dominated by vaccine diplomacy, trade, climate and an initiative for rebuilding infrastructure in the developing world. US officials see that effort as a way to counter China's growing influence.