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Biden in UK: Indo-Pacific on agenda for Biden-Sunak talks in UK | World News – Times of India

LONDON: The Indo-Pacific region and the broader geopolitical context were among the topics on the agenda for talks when British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted US President Joe Biden at 10 Downing Street in London on Monday.
The US leader arrived in the UK ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit in Lithuania, with the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the West’s support for the latter central to the talks. Biden, who was received by King Charles III at Windsor Castle later, hailed the UK-US relationship as “rock solid” ahead of his discussions with Sunak.
“Looking ahead to this week’s NATO Summit, the Prime Minister and President Biden agreed on the need to strengthen our alliance and maintain our support for Ukraine,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a readout of their discussions.
“They discussed the progress of the counter-offensive and emphasised the importance of the country’s international partners committing to its long-term defence, providing the support Ukraine needs to win this war and secure a just and lasting peace. On broader NATO issues, they agreed on the need to ensure that Sweden has a swift path to full NATO accession,” the spokesperson said.
“The Prime Minister and President Biden also discussed the broader geopolitical context, including in the Indo-Pacific and with regard to Iran,” the spokesperson noted.
It marked the first time Biden has visited Downing Street as the US President and his sixth meeting with Sunak since he became Prime Minister in October last tear.
The US President was driven in his official vehicle, known as “The Beast”, with an accompanying security convoy and posed for the customary photograph at the famous door of 10 Downing Street during a warm greeting by Sunak before the British Indian leader led the visiting dignitary to the garden.
“We stand as two of the firmest allies in that alliance and I know we’ll want to do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security,” said Sunak.
He said it was great to “carry on our conversation” following a series of meetings between the leaders this year, including during his visit to Washington last month. Sunak, who will be joining Biden at the NATO summit this week, said they would consider how to strengthen cooperation and joint economic security to the benefit of citizens of both countries.
“The leaders discussed progress made since they announced the Atlantic Declaration, a first-of-its kind framework for the economic partnership between the UK and the US, last month. Since the Prime Minister and President Biden’s last meeting in the White House, we have begun work on a UK-US Critical Minerals Agreement and the Joint Action Group on Energy Security has met to begin work on strengthening our clean energy supply chains,” Downing Street said.
“The Prime Minister and President Biden agreed to hold the first high level meeting between Number 10 and White House representatives in October to drive progress under the Atlantic Declaration. The Prime Minister also updated on the UK’s AI Summit which will be held this autumn and welcomed the President’s strong support for the initiative…The leaders agreed on the importance of their friendship and of continuing the close dialogue they have had in the few months,” the statement added.
The US President landed at Stansted Airport on Sunday night before being taken by helicopter to Winfield House, the residence of the US ambassador in central London.
During his meeting with King Charles on Monday, Biden received a royal salute and heard the US national anthem performed by the Welsh Guards before sitting down for a cup of tea with the 74-year-old monarch.
Climate and environmental issues were centrestage during this meeting, with the King and President Biden briefed on the outcomes of a Climate Finance Mobilisation Forum meet around the support on offer for poorer countries.
It is the first time the duo have met since the King’s Coronation in May, which was attended only by US First Lady Jill Biden as the US representative.

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