Friday, September 30, 2022

Europe offers a warm welcome to Biden at G-7, but skepticism remains

LONDON – Leaders of the G-7 group of industrialized nations are meeting in Britain this weekend, with an agenda at the top of the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, taxes and the challenges facing Russia and China.

The three-day summit, which starts on Friday, will be held at Carbis Bay, a popular tourist resort in Cornwall on the southwestern peninsula of Britain. British warships patrol the coastline and more than 6,500 police officers have been deployed as Britain prepares to house the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa were also invited as guests.

Police officers stand guard outside a security gate around Tregenna Castle in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England, 9 June 2021.

The summit marks President Joe Biden’s first official overseas trip while in office. Biden spoke to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday when he was ready to fly with Air Force One to Britain, and he was asked about his priorities for the trip. “Strengthening the alliance. To make it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States are strict, and that the G-7 will move,” Biden said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he was looking forward to hosting face-to-face allies. “It’s the first time in almost six months in office, almost that US President Joe Biden has been able to travel overseas for a major trip; it’s his first time on the European continent. It’s the first time anyone from we really have been able to see each other face to face since the pandemic started.

“Here at the G-7, this is what we’re looking at, to make sure we have a new treaty on the pandemic. “All the green technology, but also talking about the values ​​we have in common, everything we want to do together. There’s a big agenda,” Johnson said.

Plane spotters take pictures of a plane at RAF (Royal Air Force) Mildenhall before the arrival of US President Joe Biden, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, Britain, June 9, 2021.

After four years of difficult transatlantic relations under former President Donald Trump – whose “America First” agenda has alienated many allies – Biden will be warmly welcomed in Europe, says analyst Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, vice president of the German Marshall Fund the United States. .

“The effort to rebuild trust – lost trust – with allies is at the heart of the agenda. And the message is loud and clear,” Kleine-Brockhoff told VOA. But he added that the lesions have not yet been completely healed.

‘There’s a kind of suspicion that Joe Biden may be an outlier, an intermezzo between two nationalist presidencies and an America that has changed for the long term. And so, the investment in the Biden government [by European allies] is not as immediately visible as the Biden government would hope, ‘Kleine-Brockhoff said.

Nevertheless, analysts say the G-7 leaders will deliver a strong unity show amid numerous challenges, says Creon Butler, a former British government adviser to the G-7 and now the director of the Global Economy and Finance program in the London Chatham House. foreign policy institute.

“The COVID recovery is generally the most important point, and you can see it as the UK presents the summit,” Butler told VOA. “There is a kind of economic aspect and then also other aspects, especially on the health side.”

FILE – Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech in London, UK on 21 May 2016.

The summit’s host, British Prime Minister Johnson, has promised that by the end of 2022, the G-7 will help vaccinate the entire world. One of his predecessors, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, says that rhetoric needs to be transformed into reality.

“I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that Friday’s G-7 is a matter of life and death. Its decision will determine who is vaccinated and safe and who is still not vaccinated and runs the risk of die, “Brown said during a virtual meeting Chatham held Tuesday. House.

G-7 leaders will also focus on tackling climate change, and trade and taxation are high on the agenda. G-7 finance ministers last week backed a plan for a minimum global tax rate of 15%. “This bit is really quite revolutionary,” Butler said. “Just like the agreement on the sharing of tax rights – not only in the place where the tax house of the company is, but also in places where a company can have very large income but pay very, very little tax.”

Butler said hosting the G-7 summit in Britain was an ideal platform for the government to project a new image now that he had left the European Union.

A man rides a motorcycle past a bar with flags of the G-7 countries and the flag of Cornwall in St. Louis. Ives, Cornwall, England, 9 June 2021.

“Actually, the G-7 is now even more important to the UK and actually to the Western alliance more generally, now that the UK has left the EU, because, certainly for the UK, things you might want to coordinate and work with the EU within the EU, the G-7 is now the logical place to do that. ‘

The threat to G-7 democracies from Russia and China will also be discussed in Cornwall. Biden will hope for a strong response from allies, says analyst Kleine-Brockhoff.

“The question of whether Western countries can find a common approach to China, and whether President Biden can also get the language and commitment he needs from his European allies for his domestic political purposes … around me is the big question, ” Kleine-Brockhoff said.

Several of the G-7 leaders will go directly from Cornwall to Brussels on Monday for a NATO summit. Biden is then scheduled to meet with European Union leaders on Tuesday.

Analysts say the order of meetings is aimed at underlining the support of allies ahead of Biden’s summit on Wednesday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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