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President Biden joins G7 world leaders club with call for war effort against Covid-19

With a pandemic raging across much of the world, a global economy still in shock, and growing threats from Russia and China, the Group of 7 summit which officially began on Friday was shaping up to be the one of the most important in recent memory.

Biden upped those stakes, defining the moment as just as important as the years during and after World War II, when the United States, United Kingdom and their allies worked together to help the world recover. An army mechanic from that war – Queen Elizabeth II – will join leaders on Friday evening for a reception.

His day began with the striking “family photo”, a symbolic moment for a president who had long sought a place in the club of world leaders. The group smiled for the photo with the picturesque Carbis Bay in the background.

Biden was seen in friendly conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada as he walked towards the platform. As leaders walked inside after the photo was taken, Biden walked arm in arm with Macron, whom he had yet to meet as president.

Already, Biden has used his first overseas trip as president to announce the purchase of new vaccines for the developing world, comparing it to wartime US efforts to build tanks and planes. And he sat down for his first face-to-face meeting with the British Prime Minister in a photoshoot designed to replicate a historic WWII alliance.

He sought to deliver a message of unity after four years of fractured alliances under then-President Donald Trump.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she was “very happy” to have Biden at the top, saying the G7 summit would send a “strong” message in favor of multilateralism.

“I am of course happy that the US president is here. Being able to meet Joe Biden is obviously important because it represents the commitment to multilateralism that we have been missing in recent years,” said Merkel.

“Here we will find strong words in favor of multilateralism and also of value-based multilateralism which will lead to a dispute with Russia and, in some respects, also with China,” she added.

While European leaders like Merkel sigh with relief at a more traditional American presidency, differences remain between the leaders.

Skepticism also abounds about the sustainability of Biden’s message of promoting democracy over autocracy. Biden has sought to use his new commitment to vaccines as a sign that democracies can deliver results for the world. But developments at home – including revelations about the Justice Department’s pursuit of Democrats’ data and a deadlock in Congress over Biden’s agenda – undermined his speech.

On Friday, Biden turns to the entire G7 group, which includes leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States. Biden’s wife, First Lady Jill Biden, said Thursday her husband has been training for the time being.

“He studied for weeks before he got to today,” she said. “He knows most of the leaders who will be here. Joe loves foreign policy. That’s his strong suit.”

Later, he will meet for closed-door sessions on global pandemic recovery, the driving topic for leaders urgently working to pull their countries out of the clutches of the worst global health crisis in a generation.

The global economy is the number one priority on the agenda, along with the global tax rate and helping countries in need. These efforts, the White House said, “will forge a more just and inclusive world economy” as world leaders meet in Cornwall.

Biden and G7 leaders, said the White House, “will discuss ways to forge a more just, sustainable and inclusive global economy that meets the unique challenges of our time. President Biden and G7 partners are committed to a global recovery that benefits the middle class and working families at home and around the world. “

The group is expected to announce approval of the global minimum tax of at least 15%, a Biden-led overhaul of the global tax system, after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her finance minister counterparts announced an agreement on the question earlier this month in London.

On Thursday, Biden presented his announcement that the United States was purchasing 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine as a similar pledge to America’s participation in World War II, claiming that the United States’ values ​​demanded it for help immunize the world.

“In times of turmoil, Americans are reaching out to lend a hand. This is who we are,” Biden said, describing his vaccine announcement as “historic” and citing the pandemic tragedies in the United States. United as well as the government’s “Herculean effort”. to recover.

“America will be the arsenal of vaccines in our fight against Covid-19, just as America was the arsenal of democracy during World War II,” he said, later referring to tanks and planes built near the Pfizer Michigan plant during the war. “Now a new generation of American men and women (…) are using today’s latest technology to build a new arsenal.”

The UK is a long-standing ally, including during the war, and Biden has sought to emphasize these historic ties during his time here.

He and Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to replicate the historic alliance between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill by signing a new version of the Atlantic Charter, a document signed after the war in an attempt to shape the new world order.

The new document did not mention Russia or China by name, but did mention the lingering problems emanating from those countries, including disinformation campaigns and electoral interference.

“It’s been 80 years since the last one, it’s time for him to be refreshed,” said a senior administration official ahead of the signing, which took place during Biden’s one-on-one talks with Johnson at Cornwall. “The original really described what the post-war world order could and should look like; this new charter will clearly indicate what the next decades of the 21st century can and should look like. “

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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