Joe Biden heads to UK for first foreign trip as US president

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Joe Biden Heads To Uk For First Foreign Trip As Us President Joe Biden Heads To Uk For First Foreign Trip As Us President
Biden Supply Chains, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Sam Blewett, PA Deputy Political Editor

Joe Biden will begin his first overseas trip as US president when he touches down in Britain ahead of a G7 Summit with an emphasis on coronavirus vaccines.

The Democrat and wife Jill are expected to land on Air Force One at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk on Wednesday to kick off an eight-day trip to Europe.

Mr Biden will meet US personnel stationed at the base, and is expected to be greeted himself by a calmer reception than his predecessor Donald Trump, who was met by a wave of protest.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive to board Air Force One (Andrew Harnik/AP)

The president will share face-to-face talks with British prime minister Boris Johnson on Thursday in Cornwall, where the summit begins the following day.

Having succeeded Mr Trump after his single fractious term in the White House, Mr Biden said the trip is about “realising America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners” in an article for the Washington Post.

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Mr Biden also said he would meet with Mr Johnson to “affirm the special relationship between our nations”.

However, this week it emerged Mr Johnson is not a fan of the expression after an American magazine reported he told aides he does not like the seemingly “needy and weak” term.

Downing Street said he “prefers not to use the phrase” and is instead intent on fostering a “close relationship” with Washington.

Part of that, Mr Johnson hopes, is a trade deal with the States. However, the president has repeatedly raised concerns about Brexit’s impact on Northern Ireland.

Mr Biden will join others from the G7 group of leading economies in Carbis Bay on Friday, where there is the prospect of protest.

Mr Johnson plans to use the summit to urge the members – also including Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – to “defeat” Covid-19 by helping to vaccinate the world by the end of next year.

After the summit ends, the president and the first lady will meet Britain's queen at Windsor Castle.

Mr Biden will then depart for Brussels and later Geneva in Switzerland.

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