President Biden met with both UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles III in London Monday ahead of this week’s NATO Summit.
While Biden and Sunak have met numerous times previously, including just last month at the White House, this was the President’s first visit to the British Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street.
During their meeting, the two leaders stressed the importance of “providing the support Ukraine needs to win this war and secure a just and lasting peace,” according to a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street.
On Sunday, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the meeting would allow the two leaders to “compare notes” ahead of the Tuesday-Wednesday NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. He added that along with Ukraine’s war with Russia, Biden and Sunak would discuss “a range of other issues” including China, climate change, technology and artificial intelligence.
Sunak on Monday said the U.S. and Britain “stand as two of the firmest allies” in NATO and told Biden they would “do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.
Though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pressing for his nation to join NATO “now,” Biden has expressed reluctance to fast-track the process at present.
During an interview aired Sunday on CNN, Biden said of Ukraine, “I don’t think it’s ready for membership in NATO,” adding that membership is “a process that takes some time to meet all the qualifications…from democratization to a whole range of other issues.”
Climate change was also expected to be a topic of focus during Biden’s meeting with Charles III, as the King has been an active advocate on climate issues for the past 50 years.
The pair’s meeting at Windsor Castle was the first time Biden and Charles had been together since the funeral of the King’s mother Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. Biden did not attend Charles’ coronation in May.