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Biden and Johnson expected to commit to lifting US-UK Covid-19 travel restrictions

Biden and Johnson are expected to announce a new travel task force that will explore options and make recommendations on how to safely resume international travel. The president will meet with Johnson on Thursday during his first foreign trip as president ahead of the Group of Seven summit in the south-west of England.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that the United States has set up two working groups of public health experts – one with the United Kingdom and one with the European Union.

“The point of these working groups is to share data and set both milestones and criteria to enable the reopening of travel between our two countries as soon as possible in accordance with public health guidance,”

; Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Biden and Johnson are also expected to agree on a new Atlantic charter on Thursday following the historic declaration by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941, which sets U.S. and British goals for the world after the end of World War II, according to Sullivan.

“There will be an update of the Atlantic Charter, which is now 80 years old, so there will be an updated declaration of principles between the United States and Britain as free societies and free people talking about what we believe in the 21st century,” Sullivan told reporters.

The Charter will outline priorities, values ​​and challenges that include defending democracy, reaffirming the importance of collective security, building a fairer and more sustainable global trading system, combating cyber attacks, tackling the climate crisis, protecting biodiversity and ending the coronavirus pandemic. according to the source.

Biden and Johnson are also expected to agree to pursue a milestone bilateral technology deal to be signed next year, according to the source. The agreement will focus on reducing barriers that UK technology companies face when trying to work with US counterparts.

Personal dynamics between the leaders of the United States and Britain have often played a key role in the “special relationship” between the two transatlantic powers. Roosevelt and Churchill were famously close, as were Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President Bill Clinton, and then to the surprise of many Blair and US President George W. Bush during the Iraq war.

Johnson was a favorite of US President Donald Trump, who praised him for his support for Brexit, Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. During the 2020 campaign, Biden referred to Johnson as a “physical and emotional clone” of Trump.

Biden still has deep reservations about Britain’s exit from the European Union – a move that Johnson fought for and has recounted as prime minister. It is expected that Biden will press Johnson on the subject during their talks and specifically on how it could affect the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

But leaders hoping to reconnect promise to emphasize their common position on issues such as climate change and Covid-19 vaccinations rather than their differences. Their meeting before the G7 begins is a signal of the importance of both sides in the relationship, according to officials.

Johnson, who is hosting the summit, has set targets for vaccination of the world by 2022. He will also host a major climate summit later this year, which Biden has placed great emphasis on in its efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.

The two men worked together earlier in the year when Biden hosted his own climate summit, intended to serve as a sort of precursor to Johnson’s event set for autumn in Scotland.

The new Atlantic Charter is expected to be an important symbolic reaffirmation of the value that both nations place on close ties.

The original document was issued on 14 August 1941 and was considered one of the first important steps towards the creation of the United Nations in 1945. The Charter outlined a vision for the post-war world, and its main points included a nation’s right to choose its own government that the United States and Britain would not seek territorial gains from war, easing trade restrictions, and a plea for post-war disarmament.

The announcement will come as the president seeks to renew America’s commitment to its allies and partners abroad, emphasizing his own commitment to working with other countries to address global issues. The president arrives in the United Kingdom on Wednesday and also travels to Belgium and Switzerland for meetings with other world leaders, including a highly anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Following the summit, President and First Lady Jill Biden will meet with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom at Windsor Castle on Sunday. The meeting with Biden would make him the 13th American president that the 95-year-old queen has met.

The president will then travel to Brussels to attend the NATO summit on Monday, where he is expected to reaffirm US commitment to NATO, transatlantic security and collective defense.

Biden will then attend the US-EU summit on Tuesday, where leaders are scheduled to discuss global health security, global economic recovery, the climate crisis, digital and trade cooperation, strengthening democracy and addressing mutual foreign policy concerns.

Biden then travels to Geneva, Switzerland, to meet with Putin on June 16. Biden plans to emphasize US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and, among other things, travel to Belarus, says White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

This story has been updated with further details on Wednesday.

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