Boris Johnson, Joe Biden sign new Atlantic Charter in first in-person meeting
- United Kingdom
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden, who met for more than an hour in Cornwall on Thursday, signed a new Atlantic Charter building on the ''commitments and aspirations'' set out 80 years ago by their predecessors Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt.
The initial charter led to the United Nations and NATO. The new one looks to defend “enduring values” and is aimed at the challenge posed by countries like China and Russia with its promises to promote free trade, human rights and a rules-based international order, and to counter “those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions.” “The Prime Minister and President concurred that the revitalised Atlantic Charter published today was a fitting testament to the sheer breadth and depth of the cooperation between our countries,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
“They resolved to take this cooperation further by expanding trade and progression towards a future UK-US Free Trade Agreement, a deal which would create jobs and bring new opportunities to both of our countries,” the spokesperson said.
Downing Street noted that the two leaders discussed the importance of the relationship between the UK and the US for protecting “our people, boosting prosperity in both our countries and promoting our values around the world”.
“They covered a number of foreign policy issues, including Afghanistan, China, Iran and Russia. They agreed that the UK-US partnership was more important than ever as we tackle shared challenges like climate change and building back better from the coronavirus pandemic,” the spokesperson added.
The new charter agreed between the two sides takes specific aim at “interference through disinformation” in elections and murky economic practices, charges that the West has levelled at Russia and China.
The two leaders also promised to build stronger global defenses against health threats, ahead of the G7 Summit, which begins on Friday.
After their first in-person discussion, Johnson said: ''The talks were great, they went on for a long time, we covered a huge range of subjects. It's wonderful to listen to the Biden administration and to Joe Biden, because there's so much they want to do together with us, from security, NATO, to climate change. And it's fantastic, it's a breath of fresh air.” Johnson and Biden had been due to meet at Saint Michael's Mount, a historic castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. Reports suggested their wives, Carrie Johnson and Jill Biden, were due to have a tour of the island while the leaders held talks.
''It's gorgeous, I don't want to go home,'' Biden said.
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