Johnson says he sees Biden as a “breath of fresh air”

G7-SOMMET-JOHNSON-BIDEN: Johnson says he sees Biden as a “big breath of fresh air”


© Reuters/Toby Melville

par Steve Holland et Guy Faulconbridge

CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday described US President Joe Biden as a “big breath of fresh air” for his willingness to work with London on a wide range of issues, whether it’s the environment, COVID-19 or even security.

The Conservative leader did not draw an explicit parallel between Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, when he spoke after a meeting with the US president at the Carbis Bay resort in the day before the opening of the G7 summit.

But Boris Johnson’s comments made it clear that the Democratic tenant of the White House took a far more multilateral approach than the former Republican president, who puzzled and annoyed many Washington allies while pushing the United States away. international pacts.

“It’s a big breath of fresh air,” said the British Prime Minister of his meeting with Joe Biden, which lasted almost an hour and a half.

“It was a long, long and good session. We covered a wide range of topics,” he continued. “It’s new, it’s interesting and we’re going to work very hard together.”

While the two leaders appeared relaxed at the time of their meeting and although Boris Johnson called their exchanges “brilliant”, Joe Biden expressed his deep concerns over the feud between Britain and the European Union over the Northern Ireland, saying they saw it as a threat to peace in the country.

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden did not attend a joint press conference following their interview, with the British Prime Minister speaking to the local press while the US President delivered a speech to formalize the donation of United States of 500 million COVID vaccines to poor countries.

Boris Johnson downplayed the differences between London and Washington over the impact of Brexit for peace in Northern Ireland, saying the US, UK and EU were “in complete harmony” in view to find solutions to preserve the 1998 agreements.

When asked whether Joe Biden had expressed his fears very clearly about the situation in Northern Ireland, the British leader replied in the negative.

“America, the United States, Washington, the United Kingdom, plus the European Union, share one thing that they absolutely want to do,” he said. “And that is to preserve the Good Friday Agreement, and to ensure that we preserve the balance of the peace process. It is an absolute common basis.”

(Steve Holland, Andrea Shalal, John Chalmers, Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton et David Milliken; version française Jean Terzian)

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