LONDON / WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the first European head of government to telephone the new US President Joe Biden. “Great to speak to President Joe Biden,” Johnson tweeted Saturday night. “I look forward to deepening the long-standing alliance between our two countries as we advance a green and sustainable recovery from Covid-19.”
A UK government spokesperson said Johnson welcomed Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization (WHO). The politicians had also spoken about the role of NATO and the possibility of a bilateral trade agreement. “The Prime Minister has confirmed his intention to resolve existing trade problems as soon as possible,” said the spokesman.
The White House later confirmed the conversation and said that Biden had reaffirmed his will to further strengthen the special relationship with Great Britain and to give new impetus to transatlantic ties. In addition, Biden has emphasized the importance of NATO as a defense alliance, it said. Biden, who has been president since Wednesday, had previously only spoken to his counterparts in neighboring Canada and Mexico.
The “special relationship”, which the USA and Great Britain have always emphasized, could, according to political scientists, be put to the test with the duo Biden / Johnson. The Briton had always emphasized his close cooperation with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, but criticized him after the unrest around the Capitol in Washington at the beginning of January. Biden, in turn, had often criticized the Brexit promoted by Johnson in the election campaign./bvi/DP/zb