Biden arrives in London two-day visit honoring the Queen



CNN
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President Joe Biden arrived late Saturday in London for a two-day honoring Queen Elizabeth II, his long-reigning monarch. “defined an era.”

Biden is joining leaders of dozens of nations to pay respects the late sovereign. Biden met him last year and said that he was reminded of his mother.

On Sunday afternoon, the President and first lady Jill Biden will pay their respects to the Queen, whose coffin has been lying in state at Westminster Hall, before signing a book of condolence and attending a reception for visiting leaders hosted by Britain’s new king, Charles III.

It is a moment for Biden to reflect on a monarch who was a symbol of public service and whose life mapped the major historical events over the past 100 years.

Biden and the Queen first met in 1982, when as a young senator, Biden’s own Irish American mother instructed him: “Don’t you bow down to her.”

He didn’t bow down then, or when he met the Queen as President last year while attending a Group of 7 summit in England. His respect for a woman whose unwavering presence on the international stage over the past century has been evident isn’t it?

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“She was a great lady. We’re so delighted we got to meet her,”Biden spoke on the day she died.

The Queen’s surprise decision last year to travel to the Cornish coast to meet world leaders at the G7 summit was a signal of her desire to remain engaged in global affairs.

Later that week she hosted Biden and Jill Biden at Windsor Castle for tea. She inquired about two authoritarian leaders: Presidents Xi Jinping (China) and Vladimir Putin (Russia). The President later told reporters.

“She had such curiosity. She wanted to know all about American politics, what was happening. So, she put us at ease,”Jill Biden spoke recently to NBC in an interview.

At Sunday evening’s reception, Biden will see Charles for the first time since he became King. They have spoken by phone last week and had previously met.

Charles, Prince of Wales, was a passionate advocate for certain issues Biden also championed, such as combating climate change. It remains to see how involved the new King will continue to be in these issues.

Relatively close in age – Charles is 73, Biden is 79 – the two men have a shared experience of being in the public eye for decades before assuming their current roles as heads of state.

Biden calls the King to discuss his call. “conveyed the great admiration of the American people for the Queen, whose dignity and constancy deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,”According to the White House, “President Biden conveyed his wish to continue a close relationship with the King.”

As Biden and dozens other world leaders gather to remember the Queen, security in the British capital has reached its highest level in recent memory. During her reign, she met 13 US Presidents.

White House aides have declined to provide specific security details for the President’s visit but say they are working well with their British counterparts to ensure the demands of presidential security are met.

Plans for the Queen’s funeral have been in place for years, allowing US advisers greater insight into precisely what will happen over the coming days as they make security arrangements. The White House claimed it received an invitation for only the President and first wife, resulting in a smaller American footprint.

Biden traveled to London with his national security advisor, communications director, and other personal aides aboard Air Force One.

Last week, reports surfaced that world leaders would need to travel on a bus to the funeral. However, US officials were skeptical and rejected the suggestion that Biden would travel in a coach to Westminster Abbey.

When other world leaders were traveling together in a bus to a World War I monument in Paris in 2018, Donald Trump, then-US President, traveled in his own vehicle. The White House explained that the separate trip was necessary. “due to security protocols.”

The Queen’s death came at a moment of economic and political turmoil for the United Kingdom. After months of uncertainty after her predecessor, Boris Johnson’s decision to resign, Liz Truss became the new prime minister.

Truss invited several world leaders to meet at 10 Downing Street this weekend. In the role for only a little more than a week, it will be Truss’ first time meeting face to face with many of her foreign counterparts.

Although Biden was initially listed by her office as one of the leaders who would visit Downing Street, Truss and President Truss would later meet for formal bilateral discussions on Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The US-UK relationship is currently under test by a variety of issues “special relationship,”This has been repeatedly praised. in the days since the Queen’s death.

It was only two days after Truss traveled to Balmoral Castle in Scotland to formally accept the Queen’s appointment as prime minister that the long-reigning monarch passed away. Since then, the country has been in mourning.

Truss was left with a severe economic crisis. This was caused by high inflation and skyrocketing energy costs. There are now fears that the UK could be in a prolonged recession. The challenges have been aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused volatility in oil and gas markets.

While few in the Biden administration shed tears at Johnson’s resignation– Biden once described him as the “physical and emotional clone” of Trump – the US and the UK were deeply aligned in their approach to Russia under his leadership.

Officials in the White House believe that cooperation will continue even though Truss is under pressure to ease domestic economic pressures.

Less certain, however, is whether Truss’s hard-line approach to Brexit will sour relations with Biden. The President has taken an interest in the Northern Ireland Protocol, a post Brexit arrangement that requires additional checks on goods between Northern Ireland and the rest.

These rules were intended to keep the border open between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, and to prevent sectarian violence from returning. Truss is now trying to rewrite these rules, which has caused deep anxiety in Washington as well as Brussels.

Biden, who frequently refers to his Irish ancestry has made it clear that he views the issue, even though the issue does not directly affect the United States. The concern expressed by Congressional Democrats is similar to those of Biden regarding any steps that could rekindle the conflict in Northern Ireland.

According to the White House the matter was raised with Truss during their first telephone call as counterparts earlier this year. According to the White House, a US readout of their conversation indicated that they discussed a “shared commitment to protecting the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the importance of reaching a negotiated agreement with the European Union on the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

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