Dental Work Causes Biden to Move Meeting with NATO Boss to Tuesday 

June 12, 2023

A root canal to treat some dental pain caused President Biden to have to reschedule all of his Monday events—including a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Biden will now meet with Stoltenberg on Tuesday. The pair plan to discuss the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in July.

“President Biden and Secretary General Stoltenberg will review preparations for the Summit, including the work to further strengthen Allied deterrence and defense,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement last week. “They will also discuss Allies’ support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s brutal war of aggression.”

The meeting comes one week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that security guarantees for his country ahead of its NATO accession should be enshrined in writing, adding that he considered the summit in Vilnius to be a “good platform” for reaching agreements on those guarantees.

“Otherwise, why would we even attend if we can’t obtain guarantees or signals concerning our future membership in the Alliance? Why would we be invited to this summit at all?” Zelensky added.

The rescheduled meeting between Biden and Stoltenberg will occur one day after “Air Defender 23” kicks off at Wunstorf Air Base in Germany. It’s the largest air deployment exercise in the history of NATO, involving 10,000 personnel and 250 aircraft from 25 mostly-NATO member nations along with Sweden and Japan.

Stoltenberg is set to step down from his position as the 13th Secretary-General in the NATO alliance’s 74 year history during the upcoming summit, and the topic of who should succeed him could potentially be a topic of conversation at the White House on Tuesday.

Last week, Biden hosted at the White House Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who is widely viewed as a potential contender to replace Stoltenberg. He also hosted British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who made the case for Biden to support UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace for the position.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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