Biden prepares to meet Charles for the first time as King after snubbing the coronation
The White House on Friday defended President Joe Biden’s swift jump to London to visit the king and prime minister after rejecting Charles’ historic coronation in May.
Biden skipped the coronation and instead sent first lady Jill Biden in his place. He did attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, where he and the first lady sat in the 14th row, behind the President of Poland and ahead of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.
Now he’s tacking on a visit to London for his confab with NATO allies as the war rages in Ukraine.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged a question Friday about why he decided not to attend the coronation and why his current trip appears to be a downgrade to a scheduled official state visit.
President Joe Biden will meet King Charles for the first time since he was crowned. He met Prince Charles at the COP26 summit in Glasgow
“I think we’ve dealt with this. I think they said he had a phone call with the king congratulating him. And they said they would get together later and that’s what you’re going to see early this week,” she said.
“I don’t think there’s — there’s no ‘there’ there,” she said, dismissing the matter. “They’re going to see each other in a few days. And I think that’s a good thing.’
Because the trip was not a state visit, she said she “would not go into detail about what this is going to be called.”
“I think it’s important that the president goes to London. He’s going to England. We have a long history with the United Kingdom, with the people of the United Kingdom. And I think it’s important for the president to go there and meet with not only the king, but also the prime minister. And I think you’ll see that if you continue a partnership with the UK and I think that’s important.’
When the White House announced he would not be attending the coronation this spring, it said the president “also expressed his desire to meet the king in the United Kingdom at a future date” — in what was initially billed as a state dinner.
President Joe Biden takes a selfie with guests after a speech at Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. He was accused of dutifully greeting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on a trip that took him to his ancestral homeland in the republic Ireland
Biden praised NATO’s decision to extend Jens Stoltenberg’s term as Secretary General
Biden also met Prince Charles as vice president during the Obama administration
Biden met the Queen at the G7 summit in 2021 and would later attend her funeral
Biden, 80, has met with a number of royals and dignitaries during his long tenure in public life
The limited details the White House has so far released about the president’s upcoming trip to Europe make it clear that it will be a limited visit.
“President Biden will first travel to London, United Kingdom for appointments with King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to further strengthen the close relationship between our nations,” the White House statement released Sunday said.
But having flown in from the US on July 9, he plans to be in Vilnius for the NATO summit on July 11, giving him just one day in Britain, followed by a short trip to Helsinki, where he will meet Nordic leaders.
Biden has met Charles in the past when he was a prince, including at the 2021 COP26 summit in Glasgow earlier during the pandemic.
During that encounter, which began with both men masked, Charles humbly told Biden, “You’ve got enough people without me.”
“No no no by the way, we really need it,” Trump told the prince as he grabbed his elbow.
“You’re very nice to say that,” Charles told him.
Biden greeted British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak only shortly after he landed in Belfast on his visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Last month, when he received the prime minister at the White House, he messed up his title and called him “Mr. President,” he quickly corrected himself.
‘Mr. President? I just demoted you,” Biden joked.
A major personnel decision has found Biden barring former British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace from taking on the key role of NATO Secretary General.
Sunak threw the change during his visit to Washington.
But NATO announced days ago that Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would remain in the post he had extended three times.
“With his steadfast leadership, experience and judgment, Secretary General Stoltenberg has guided our Alliance through the most significant European security challenges since World War II,” Biden said after announcing that the former Danish prime minister would remain in office during the war in Ukraine. rages.