US President Joe Biden and the new British Prime Minister, Rishi SunakDuring talks on Tuesday, he agreed to work together to support Ukraine and stand up to China, the White House said.
They spoke for the first time just hours after Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister this year, having inherited an economic crisis following the 49-day resignation of Liz Truss.
Only in recent days has Biden appeared to openly criticize Truss’s doomed economic strategy, in a rare intervention by the US president. Relations between the two countries have also been somewhat strained in recent years amid ongoing tensions over post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland. The White House has concerns about the impact on peace in the region.
In a summary of the conversation, the White House confirmed that Biden and Sonek reaffirmed the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain, and said they would work together to advance global security and prosperity.
Leaders agreed on the importance of working together to provide support Ukraine The statement said about the war provoked by the Russian invasion.
A Downing Street spokesman said Sunak had promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Britain’s support for Ukraine would be consistent and “as strong as ever under his premiership”. “The Prime Minister said… President Zelensky can count on his government to stand in constant solidarity. The two leaders agreed on the need to keep pressure on Putin’s barbaric regime through continued economic sanctions.”
For his part, Zelensky said he believed “British leadership in defense of democracy and freedom” would grow stronger. “Ukraine and Britain have reached new levels in relations recently but nevertheless we still have the possibility to enhance our cooperation,” he said in an evening video address, adding that he had invited Sunak to visit Ukraine.
The White House said Biden and Sunak also agreed to “address the challenges posed by China,” which Washington has identified as its biggest geopolitical and economic rival on the world stage.
Downing Street earlier released its own summary of the advocacy, in which it noted efforts to “counter the malign influence of China”.
The statement read: “President Biden congratulated the Prime Minister on his appointment and the leaders look forward to working closely together. President Biden said the UK remains America’s closest ally, and the Prime Minister agreed on the tremendous strength of the relationship.”
Leaders discussed the extent of cooperation between the UK and the US, both bilaterally and in regions such as the Indo-Pacific Okos Charter It forms part of our efforts to promote stability and counter the malign influence of China.
They reflected the leadership role our countries play in supporting the people of Ukraine and ensuring Putin’s failure in this war.
“The Prime Minister and President Biden also agreed on the need to ensure the people of Northern Ireland enjoy security and prosperity by upholding the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday).”
The two leaders are expected to meet in person at the G20 summit in Indonesia next month.
Britain was a key European ally of the United States in arming and supporting the Ukrainian army as it attempted to fend off the Russian invasion, which began in February.
Earlier on Tuesday, Biden congratulated Sunak in a tweet on Twitter.
On Monday, Biden called the designation of Britain’s first non-white prime minister “a very amazing, milestone”.
With Agence France Presse, Press Agency and Reuters
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