Biden’s European Diplomatic Trip: UK, NATO Summit, and Finland on the Itinerary U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to embark on a diplomatic journey to Europe this month. He will visit the United Kingdom, attend the NATO summit in Lithuania, and engage in meetings in Finland, according to the White House’s announcement on Sunday.
Biden’s trip is set to kick off on July 9 in the UK, where he will hold meetings with King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, as stated by the White House. Subsequently, he will proceed to the NATO summit in Vilnius from July 11-12, followed by a one-day visit to Helsinki for the U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit.
This announcement coincides with the White House’s preparations to welcome Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson to Washington next week, as discussions about Stockholm’s aspirations to join NATO are on the agenda. Additionally, the U.S. has expressed that the alliance is approaching a consensus on how to address Ukraine’s membership aspirations.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for Ukraine to receive an “invitation” to join NATO after the ongoing conflict with Russia, emphasizing the importance of a clear signal at the Vilnius summit this month. Sweden had applied for NATO membership in May 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, this bid, requiring ratification by all 31 NATO member states, has faced opposition from Turkey and Hungary.
Diplomats from Turkey and Sweden are set to meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss Stockholm’s NATO membership bid, following Prime Minister Kristersson’s visit to the White House. While Turkey dropped objections to Finland’s NATO membership earlier in the year, recent controversies in Sweden, including a protest involving the burning of pages from the Koran, have posed challenges to its NATO aspirations.
Biden’s visit to the United Kingdom aims to strengthen the close relationship between the two nations, with further details about the trip to be announced soon, according to the White House.