Fri. Jun 25th, 2021

US President Joe Biden leaves Washington, D.C., on Thursday for a trip to Europe in the first overseas trip of his presidency, during which he will aim to strengthen relations with close allies and promote democracy and multilateralism throughout the region.

(Photo Courtesy: France24.com)

Biden’s eight-day trip includes traveling to Britain, Belgium and Switzerland to meet politicians, royalty, NATO allies and hold summits with the Group of Seven (G7) nations, the European Union and Russian President Vladimir Putin amid heightened tensions between the two following several high-profile cyberattacks originating from Moscow targeting the United States.

“The trip, at its core, will advance the fundamental thrust of Joe Biden’s foreign policy: to rally the world’s democracies to tackle the great challenges of our time,” national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters during a press conference on Monday.

“When President Biden returns to Washington next week, we believe that we will be in a materially stronger position to manage the major threats this country faces: Covid-19, climate, China, cyber, Russia and shaping the rules of trade and technology for the future,” he said.

The first leg of the trip will see the president and first lady Jill Biden travel Wednesday to Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Britain, about 90 miles northeast of London, where they will meet U.S. Air Force personnel stationed at the branch’s only air refueling wing in the European theater.

Biden is scheduled to leave Washington early Wednesday morning and arrive in Britain at about 8 p.m. British Time (3 p.m. EDT), according to a White House schedule. The Bidens will end the day in St. Ives in Cornwall.

On Thursday, he is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “to affirm the enduring strength of the special relationship” between the two countries. Friday, he will attend the G7 summit in Cornwall on the southwestern tip of Britain.

Sullivan earlier this week laid out Biden’s goals for the three-day summit, which runs until Sunday, that include collaborating and committing to plans with allies to end the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden is also expected to announce financing for physical, digital and health infrastructure for the developing world to offer those nations an alternative to China’s controversial Belt-and-Road Initiative. He will also endorse a global minimum 15-percent tax.Biden has been a proponent of the tax plan, which the G7 countries agreed to last weekend, which would see multinational companies pay a minimum tax rate of 15 percent for each country they operate in. SOVEREIGNPH

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