The White House has announced that President Joe Biden will embark on his first overseas trip in office in June, with the aim of demonstrating his administration’s commitment to the Transatlantic alliance and reengagement with key allies.
Watch the briefing in the video player above.
Biden will attend the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, set for June 11-13, followed by a visit to Brussels, where he will hold meetings with European Union leadership and attend the June 14 summit of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The meetings with the United States’ closest allies come as Biden has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to a summit in the coming months in a third country, though no date has yet been set.
Most recent American presidents have selected North American neighbors for their first cross-border trips, though former President Donald Trump, whose penchant for unilateral action and open skepticism of the NATO alliance unsettled American allies, made his first overseas stop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
For Biden, the first trip is meant to turn the page from Trump’s approach to alliances.
Biden, for his part, held “virtual bilateral” meetings with the leaders of Canada and Mexico in February and March, respectively. The June trip will follow after Biden’s first in-person bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House last week and next month’s planned visit by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “this trip will highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalizing the Transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests.”
Asked if Biden would like to meet Queen Elizabeth II, Psaki quipped, “who wouldn’t want to meet the Queen,” adding details are still being finalized on the trip.
On vaccine hesitancy in the United States, Psaki said “we are entering a new phase,” where it is more challenging and the administration “needs to meet people where they are.”
The president’s Joint address to Congress next Wednesday will be “a little bit different,” because of the pandemic Psaki said.
Psaki said the president is aware of the shooting of a 42-year-old Black man from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and she did not if he had a view on whether police body camera video should be released.
Andrew Brown Jr. was shot to death Wednesday by one or more deputy sheriffs trying to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants. The shooting has prompted protests and demands for accountability. Court records show Brown had a history of criminal charges stretching back into the 1990s, and some pending felony drug charges.