President Joe Biden addresses US servicemen at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England
President Joe Biden delivered a moving speech highlighting the importance of alliances and the United States’ position as a world leader upon his arrival in the United Kingdom, while praising the special relationship with Britain and stating : “The United States is back.
Speaking to U.S. Air Force personnel and their families at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk ahead of his meeting with the Group of Seven (G7) countries, Mr Biden pledged his administration would reaffirm the United States’ position. United as a leader on a wide range of issues, a seemingly tacit recognition of the Trump administration’s efforts to pull out of long-standing partnerships around the world.
“We will make it clear that the United States is back and democracies come together to tackle the most difficult challenges and issues that matter most to our future,” he said. “We are determined to lead with strength, defend our values and serve our employees.
He said: “When America is at its best it is a force for good in the world.”
Mr Biden also made a crowd of US airmen laugh with a preview of his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
“Then [after the G7] I’m going to meet with Mr. Putin… to let him know what I want him to know, ”Biden said, adding an audible emphasis to the pledge.
The remark made the crowd burst into laughter, who had applauded earlier when the president yelled at various US battalions stationed at the base.
Mr Biden took a more serious tone about the meeting later in his remarks, telling the audience that the United States was not seeking to enter into conflict with Russia but would respond appropriately in the event of Russian aggression or efforts to disrupt or harm US interests.
“We want a stable and predictable relationship,” Biden said.
The President then made clear reference to the contrasting diplomatic methods used by the United States and Russia, without naming any specific enemies of the United States, stating: “Our alliances were not built by coercion or maintained by threat. They are built on democratic ideals and shared visions of the future, and every voice counts.
His words echoed an editorial published by the president in The Washington Post over the weekend, in which he said the United States and its allies were “united in meeting Russia’s challenges to European security, starting with its aggression in Ukraine”.
The visit and the next meeting with Mr. Putin will follow a series of ransomware cyber attacks that have hit U.S. entities, including the Colonial Pipeline Company, as well as a service used by lawmakers on Capitol Hill, which experts have traced back to to criminal organizations based in Russia.
The president also pledged in March that Russia and Mr. Putin would “pay a price” after the U.S. intelligence community assessed that Russian agents interfered in the 2020 election with the intention of denigrating the candidacy of Mr. Biden.
At one point in his speech, Mr Biden sprang up and dabbed his eyes as he recalled the memory of his son, Beau Biden, who served in Iraq as a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard. and who died of a brain tumor in 2015.
Praising the service of US military personnel, the President said, “To all of you, airmen and soldiers, I want to thank you. We owe you. We are so proud of you.
“So proud. And I just wish my major was here to thank you too, thank you for everything you do.
Before speaking, there was another laugh as First Lady Jill Biden addressed the crowd to congratulate the military families and realized that her husband, standing behind her, appeared to be talking to someone in the public. “Joe, be careful! She laughs. He gave her a false hello in response.
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