The two leaders exchanged pleasantries, but otherwise they did not speak substantially to journalists prior to the talks.
Biden said he had been to the UK many times, but it was his first stop as president. Biden noted that it was a pleasure to meet Johnson’s wife and said that both he and Johnson had “married up”.
Earlier, Biden greeted Johnson along a stretch of ocean to start their first face-to-face meeting. The two men’s wives, Jill Biden and Carrie Johnson, also joined in the greeting on a deck overlooking St. Ives Bay and Cornwall.
“The beautiful. I do not want to go home, “said Biden, according to pool journalists.
The company climbed a set of stairs to enter where the old Atlantic charter had been exhibited for leaders to see.
Leaders plan to sign an updated version of the document that better reflects the world of the 21st century. The new Atlantic Charter will be modeled on the historic declaration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941, which set US and British goals for the world after the end of 2. World War II, according to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
When they saw the charter, both Biden and Johnson were wearing masks. Outside, the leaders and their wives were maskless.
The new 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 a source familiar with the matter.
Some more background: 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 former 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 withdrawal from the European Union – a move Johnson fought for and has advocated for 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.
Hear what the two leaders said during their meeting: