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Truss and Biden Agree to Boost UK-US Defense Ties, 'Support' Ukraine Together in First Phone Talk

© AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthNew British Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives to make an address outside Downing Street in London Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 after returning from Balmoral in Scotland where she was formally appointed by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
New British Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives to make an address outside Downing Street in London Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 after returning from Balmoral in Scotland where she was formally appointed by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2022
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Liz Truss officially assumed the role of Britain’s Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister on September 6, taking over from Boris Johnson and facing a host of challenges: from soaring energy costs to an increasingly relentless cost of living crunch.
Newly-elected UK Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, Liz Truss, broke with tradition on Tuesday. Her telephone conversation with US counterpart, Joe Biden, came after her first call in her new capacity to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Truss, long known as a proponent of her predecessor Boris Johnson's assertive anti-Russia stance, had vowed repeatedly during the Tory leadership campaign that after gaining keys to No 10 she would start off by pledging Britain's support for Ukraine.
"The Prime Minister spoke to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, this evening to reiterate the United Kingdom’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s freedom and democracy. In her first call with a counterpart since becoming Prime Minister, she reiterated to the Ukrainian leader that he had her full backing, and Ukraine could depend on the UK’s assistance for the long term,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
President Zelensky also issued an invitation for Truss to visit Kiev, which the spokesperson said Truss was "delighted" to accept.

‘Special Relationship’

The new UK PM’s next telephone conversation was with the White House.
Liz Truss underscored the “enduring strength of the special relationship” between the UK and the US. Truss and Biden promised to strengthen their countries’ ties in “the extreme economic problems caused by Putin’s war,” according to Downing Street.
The two leaders also “reinforced their commitment to strengthening global liberty, tackling the risks posed by autocracies and ensuring Putin fails in Ukraine”.
London and Washington expressed commitment to deepening alliances through NATO and the AUKUS defence pact - a trilateral arrangement signed between the US, UK and Australia last September.
According to the White House readout, President Joe Biden congratulated the newly-elected UK Prime Minister. The leaders reaffirmed the special relationship between our countries and expressed their readiness to deepen those ties. President Biden and Prime Minister Truss discussed “the importance of continued close cooperation on global challenges, including supporting Ukraine..., addressing the challenges posed by China, preventing Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon, and securing sustainable and affordable energy resources.”
The two leaders also touched upon the contentious issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The NI Protocol – a set of post-Brexit trade arrangements - has long been a hurdle in relations between the UK and the EU. Article 16 allows either party to undertake unilateral safeguarding measures if the protocol leads to “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade.”
There had previously been reports that triggering Article 16 remained an option on the table if Liz Truss became PM, despite pressure from the US not to do so.
Joe Biden, who has Irish roots, underscored in the conversation with Liz Truss on Tuesday the importance of protecting the Good Friday Agreement, and “reaching a negotiated agreement with the European Union on the Northern Ireland protocol.”
During Truss’s tenure as Foreign Secretary post-Brexit tensions in Northern Ireland has resurfaced.The UK government has argued that the Protocol is not working, causing delays and interruptions to goods moving between the UK and Northern Ireland. Furthermore, it has drawn ire from unionists, who believe their place within the country could be affected, thus threatening the Good Friday Agreement that in 1998 put an end to 30 years of armed conflict within Northern Ireland.
Traffic passes an No Hard Border anti-Brexit, pro-Irish unity billboard poster as it crosses the border road between Newry in Northern Ireland, on February 1, 2020, and Dundalk in Ireland
 - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.08.2022
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Liz Truss May Trigger Article 16 to Tear Up Northern Ireland Protocol if She Becomes PM
During the past months, the Biden administration has reportedly raised concerns “at multiple levels” with the British government, over planned legislation that would allow it to unilaterally disapply key provisions of the Northern Ireland protocol. It urged the British government to seek to resolve differences over the protocol in dialogue with the European Union. Biden had also warned ahead of his election in 2020 that he would not consent to a US-UK trade deal if Brexit impaired the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
The NI protocol issue almost resulted in the collapse of the power-sharing agreements in the Northern Ireland Assembly earlier in the year, with the Democratic Unionist party refusing to re-enter the executive government until the Brexit arrangements for the country changed. Liz Truss is reportedly planning a visit to Dublin shortly.
Nevertheless, during their conversation on Tuesday, Truss and Biden “agreed on the importance of protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement,” said Downing Street.
As for a meeting between Truss and Biden, it could take place later in September at the UN general assembly, but issues thrown up by Brexit mean it may not be an entirely smooth welcome.
New British Prime Minister Liz Truss makes an address outside Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 after returning from Balmoral in Scotland where she was formally appointed by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.09.2022
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New UK PM Liz Truss Begins Appointment of Cabinet Members
Liz Truss has taken over No 10 Downing Street at a challenging time for the country, which is in the grip of a raging economic crisis.
The Bank of England recently forecast continued double-digit inflation and a lengthy recession.
Everything from the ongoing energy crisis and rampant inflation to soaring prices have been repeatedly portrayed by the so-called collective West, including the US and the UK, as due to Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Moscow’s decision to protect the inhabitants of Donbass against attacks by the Kiev regime has been presented as an “invasion,” with successive waves of sanctions targeting the Kremlin becoming, in effect, a “double-edged sword”, as they have fueled skyrocketing energy costs and record-level inflation.
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