Sunak set for showdown with Biden in bid to resurrect relationship
Rishi Sunak’s trip to Washington DC to meet Joe Biden was confirmed today as Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and met with his US counterpart Antony Blinken today. The US Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary celebrated Britain and America’s enduring relationship amid continued concerns that President Biden did not attend King Charles III’s coronation.
During the press conference in the State Department the two men found common ground on China, Ukraine and Sudan with both insisting that support for Kyiv’s attempts to resist Russia’s invasion is “not waning”.
Mr Cleverly made a point of thanking the First Lady Jill Biden for attending the coronation on behalf of the President and Mr Blinken extended his congratulations to the newly crowned monarch.
Mr Blinken was also keen to underline his closeness with the Foreign Secretary regularly referring to Clevery as “my friend”.
He also made it clear that he personally believes that the UK/ US relationship is essential for the wellbeing of the world.
Quoting, Mr Cleverly’s words from the G7 in Japan, Mr Blinken said: “The world is a healthier, happier, safer and more prosperous place when the UK and US work closely together.”
He added: “I couldn’t agree more.”
The two men also made it clear that they have shared foreign policy goals particularly on Ukraine, condemning Russia for “weaponising hunger” in African countries by withdrawing from the Black Sea agreement which allowed grain to be exported.
They also came together on China to oppose hawks both in London and Washington who want diplomatic relations to be cut off with Beijing.
Mr Blinken praised Mr Cleverly’s recent Mansion House speech where he said communication channels needed to be kept open with Beijing.
He said: “We need to cooperate with china where we can.”
It came as Liz Truss announced she is to give a speech in Taiwan, which is being threatened by China, where he will call for a much tougher stance.
Neither men mentioned whether trade talks will restart in the wake of tensions being cooled over the Northern Ireland problems and Brexit.
But there will be hopes that it will be one of the subjects on the table when Sunak arrives in Washington next month.
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