08.06.2021 – 19:54
When President Biden goes to Europe this week, he will find among the allies a warm welcome, but also reluctance. His predecessor, Donald Trump has left behind the shadow of his administration.
President Biden kicks off his first visit abroad on Wednesday. He will attend the G-7 summit, a NATO summit, as well as with EU leaders and also a one-on-one conversation. in Geneva with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
To most of America’s allies, Joe Biden in the White House has been an image of liberation. His predecessor, Donald Trump, was often a source of chaos, accusing NATO of profiting at the expense of the United States, offending the European Union, and withdrawing prematurely, in anger, from the 2018 G-7 summit in Canada.
In contrast, Mr Biden emphasized support for international diplomacy, saying “America is reviving its commitment to allies and partners” in an article in the Washington Post over the weekend.
“I think we will hear positive messages on Biden’s first visit to Europe,” said Renata Dwan, deputy director of the study group at Chatham House.
But the time has come for Joe Biden to prove that “it’s more than just ‘not Donald Trump’,” she added.
President Biden has repaired relations with several allies. The US reverted to the Paris Climate Agreement, from which it ousted former President Trump. The current administration has also put an end to a minor trade clash with the EU over aviation competition and is supporting efforts to revive the deal with Iran over control of the country’s nuclear ambitions. The agreement was abandoned and harshly criticized by the previous administration.
But there were also cramps. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will chair the G-7 summit in Cornwall starting June 11, aims to give new meaning to this exclusive club with the most powerful countries in the world, which was denigrated by President Trump, as he had no respect and trust in multilateral alliances.
Mr Johnson welcomes the Biden administration ‘s focus on climate change, which also helps to promote the COP26 global climate summit in Scotland in November. Also, President Biden’s promise that America will send a portion of its vaccine stockpile to the world coincides with Mr. Johnson’s calls for the G-7 to be mobilized to enable immunization around the globe by 2022.
Moreover, the British leader hopes that Mr. Biden will agree on a transatlantic travel corridor to help tourism and business after the pandemic. He has also called for a US-Britain trade deal, which he has declared a victory for Britain after Brexit.
But such a trade deal is not a priority on Mr Biden’s agenda. Prime Minister Johnson will have to work hard to win over the American leader he has in the past called Donald Trump’s “physical and emotional clone.”
Mr Biden has criticized Brexit and expressed particular concern about the impact on Northern Ireland. As a result of the border line that Northern Ireland shares with Ireland – an EU member state – this British territory has gained special economic status with the EU which has increased political tensions in Britain.
Mr Biden, aware of the key role the United States played in reaching agreements that stopped violence in Northern Ireland, has warned that there will be no trade deal with Britain if Brexit threatens peace agreements in Northern Ireland.
The US also has divergences with other European allies. Mr Biden has begun to strengthen ties with NATO after the Alliance became embroiled in anger and astonishment over President Trump’s “each for himself” stance and his unclear relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Biden has assured NATO allies that the doctrine of common defense remains in place if they face Russian aggression.
Politicians in Britain and the EU generally support Mr Biden’s call for “stable and predictable” relations with Russia, but have little hope of a major breakthrough in meeting with Putin.
The United States has complied with calls for European countries and Canada to pay more to cover the cost of NATO defense operations, which has been echoed by former President Trump.
There is also ongoing friction over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built to bring gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. This pipeline continues to be opposed by both major US political forces, as it is seen as an object that will make Europe more dependent on Russia.
Europeans, meanwhile, have been more cautious in dealing with China and responding to a Beijing that is showing more confidence and more aggressive economic ambitions.
Analyst Dwan says Europeans “do not want to find themselves in the middle of a confrontation between two superpowers. “Europe has proven this in the past.”
Even Britain, which has excluded Chinese firms from its 5G network and opened its doors to those seeking to leave Hong Kong in the face of a Beijing-led crackdown, is reluctant to embrace the strong stance it is taking. holds Washington to China.
Thomas Gift, a London-based policy professor, says that despite President Biden’s warm words to allies, his main focus is on domestic politics: vaccinating Americans, reviving a pandemic-ridden economy, and investing in obsolete infrastructure. of the country.
“He is ruling as a president for the Americans,” said Mr. Gift.
The analyst adds that the years under President Trump have made Europeans see America differently: “I think public opinion in Europe has been damaged. European leaders, however, largely want to work with the United States. “They are clear that the United States is the most important global superpower, although this power is being eroded by the emergence of China as a superpower.” / VOA