Mr Biden’s invitation to Ms Merkel came as she attended her final summit of the group of major democracies as chancellor, before she steps down from the post in September.UNITED KINGDOM
3 minutes read
world’s iconic news and media site
German chancellor Angela Merkel is to be the first European leader to visit US President Joe Biden at the White House, beating Boris Johnson in the race to Washington.
Downing Street brushed off suggestions that Mr Johnson would be disappointed, but the decision is certain to be viewed as a snub reflecting the UK’s dwindling influence in Washington in the wake of Brexit.
It came as Mr Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron were seen with their arms around one another’s shoulders as they walked away from a “family picture” photocall on the beach, as Mr Johnson looked on.
No plans for a US visit for Mr Johnson were announced following his 80-minute face-to-face meeting with Mr Biden at the G7 summit in Cornwall.
But the PM’s official spokesman insisted they had got on well, saying: “You saw very clearly yesterday the close relationship that the prime minister and President Biden have. The president himself talked quite emphatically about the enduring relationship with the UK, as did the prime minister.”
Mr Biden’s invitation to Ms Merkel came as she attended her final summit of the group of major democracies as chancellor, before she steps down from the post in September.
She will travel to Washington DC for a visit on 15 July to affirm “the deep bilateral ties” between the US and Germany, said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
The inauguration of a new president is always accompanied by a battle between allied leaders to be the first to visit.
Theresa May faced some ridicule for her determination to be Donald Trump’s first international guest at the White House and to invite the newly-inaugurated president for a state visit to the UK.
Mr Biden has already hosted the leaders of Japan and South Korea since taking office in January.
Psaki said Biden and Merkel ”will discuss their commitment to close cooperation on a range of common challenges, including ending the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing the threat of climate change, and promoting economic prosperity and international security based on our shared democratic values.”
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.