NAfter his first personal meeting with American President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the relationship with the United States as “indestructible”. He wanted to avoid the term “special relationship”, however, confirmed Johnson in an interview with the BBC, which was published on Friday.
The two politicians met on the day before the G-7 summit in Cornwall, which ran from Friday to Sunday, for a one-to-one conversation. So far, London and Washington have invoked the “special relationship” that binds the two countries on similar occasions. According to a media report, however, Johnson thinks that makes his country “weak and needy”. He wants to present Great Britain as a strong, independent actor on the world stage at the conference of leading western economic powers.
Before the meeting, it was speculated that Biden could urge the British Prime Minister to settle the dispute with the EU over the design of the Brexit rules in Northern Ireland. The President said nothing of the kind, said Johnson in the BBC interview. They had an excellent conversation.
After the meeting, both sides released a joint statement. In it they demonstrated demonstratively behind the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which contributed significantly to the end of decades of violence in Northern Ireland. “Today Britain and the United States reaffirm their commitment to work closely with all parties to protect the delicate balance,” it reads.
Recently, concerns have increased that violence between pro-Irish Catholics and pro-British Protestants could break out again because of a dispute between the European Union and Great Britain over the implementation of the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol. This is intended to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland, which belongs to Great Britain, and EU member Ireland, after Brexit. The Good Friday Agreement, on the other hand, is considered essential for the maintenance of peace. When it graduated in 1998, the United States played a crucial role as mediator. Biden also feels personally connected to the region because his family has Irish roots and he is a Catholic.
Johnson and Biden did not give a joint press conference after their meeting. Their predecessors, the former Prime Minister Theresa May and the former American President Donald Trump, had not waived despite considerable resentment.