Biden Heads to Europe for G20, Climate Summits
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden on Thursday departed for Europe to attend the G20 summit in Rome and UN Climate Change Convention in Glasgow, where he will also hold bilateral talks with leaders including Pope Francis, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Biden is expected to arrive at Rome-Fiumicino International Airport shortly after 2 a.m. local time (midnight GMT) on Friday, according to a White House schedule of the trip published Thursday.
Bilateral Meetings in Rome
The president will begin his program of meetings with a trip to the Vatican, where he will talk with Pope Francis about the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and caring for the poor, the White House said.
Biden is only the second Catholic US President, the other being John F. Kennedy. First Lady Jill Biden will also be attending the trip to the Vatican.
The American leader will then hold bilateral meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Biden’s last scheduled event for Friday is a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. The meeting comes following tensions between the US and France over a submarine deal between the US, UK and Australia that undermined a previous Franco-Australian submarine deal.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that he expects a forward-looking statement to come out of the meeting between Biden and Macron. The statement will detail cooperation on counterterrorism and the Indo-Pacific, as well as how to deepen dialogues on energy and technology, Sullivan added.
On Saturday and Sunday, Biden will begin participation in the G20 Leaders’ Summit, hosted by Rome. A number of meetings, speeches and bilateral talks on a variety of global issues are expected to take place at the summit. Biden will be joined at the summit by US Special Representative for Climate John Kerry.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that Biden will discuss with G20 leaders how to get aid to the Afghan people without the involvement of the Taliban-led (designated terrorist by the UN and Russia) government. Sullivan added that constructive talks on that matter may occur between the US, Russia and China.
27 September 2020, 23:26 GMT
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be in attendance at the summit and will meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver a virtual speech.
Biden will also hold a bilateral meeting with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the margins of the G20, a government spokesperson said. The bilateral will likely be followed by talks on Iran and the JCPOA with France, the US and UK, the spokesperson added.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that he will address the issue of rules-based digitalization and accountability for social media platforms. The EU will be focused on efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recovery, and climate change, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Biden will host a supply chain meeting on Sunday, Sullivan said on Thursday. The meeting will consist of like-minded states from multiple continents talking about how to better coordinate to deal with short term supply chain disruptions and challenges, Sullivan added.
UN Glasgow Climate Summit
Biden on Monday will depart for Glasgow to take part in the World Leaders Summit at the start of the 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The event will begin on Tuesday, with 140 leaders coming to discuss global efforts to combat climate change, UK Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward said on Thursday. The preceding G20 summit in Rome also provides an opportunity to push G20 leaders to get more commitments to net-zero emissions ahead of the Glasgow summit, Woodward added.
The White House on Thursday confirmed a meeting between Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Glasgow summit. Erdogan told reporters earlier this month that he and Biden will discuss the refund of $1.4 billion for F-35 fighter jets that the US refused to deliver to Ankara due to their decision to purchase Russian military equipment.
Biden will leave Glasgow for the US on Tuesday following the meetings and arrive back in Washington on Wednesday, according to the White House schedule of the trip.