“The Prime Minister and President Biden also discussed the broader geopolitical context, including in the Indo-Pacific and with regard to Iran,” a 10 Downing Street spokesperson said following the critical meeting between US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
In what was his first official visit for talks at the prime ministerial office-residence in London ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit in Lithuania, Biden hailed the UK-US relationship as “rock solid”.
“Looking ahead to this week’s NATO Summit, the Prime Minister and President Biden agreed on the need to strengthen our alliance and maintain our support for Ukraine. They discussed the progress of the counter-offensive and emphasised the importance of the country’s international partners committing to its long-term defence, providing the support Ukraine needs to win this war and secure a just and lasting peace. On broader NATO issues, they agreed on the need to ensure that Sweden has a swift path to full NATO accession,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.
The US President, who also received a royal welcome at Windsor Castle where he met King Charles III, was greeted by Sunak with warm words: “We stand as two of the firmest allies in that alliance and I know we'll want to do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security."
He said it was great to “carry on our conversation" following a series of meetings between the leaders this year, including during his visit to Washington last month. Sunak, who then joined Biden at the NATO summit, said they would consider how to strengthen cooperation and joint economic security to the benefit of citizens of both countries.
Downing Street noted: “The leaders discussed progress made since they announced the Atlantic Declaration, a first-of-its kind framework for the economic partnership between the UK and the US, last month. Since the Prime Minister and President Biden’s last meeting in the White House, we have begun work on a UK-US Critical Minerals Agreement and the Joint Action Group on Energy Security has met to begin work on strengthening our clean energy supply chains.
“The Prime Minister and President Biden agreed to hold the first high level meeting between Number 10 and White House representatives in October to drive progress under the Atlantic Declaration. The Prime Minister also updated on the UK’s AI Summit which will be held this autumn and welcomed the President’s strong support for the initiative.
“The leaders agreed on the importance of their friendship and of continuing the close dialogue they have had in the few months.”