Biden says U.S. is ‘again on the desk’ following G-7 summit

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the conflict in the Middle East from the White House on May 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Sunday said the U.S. has made progress in re-establishing its credibility on the world stage following a three-day summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations.

“We just wrapped up what has been an extraordinary and collaborative and production meeting of the G7,” Biden said during a press conference on the final day of the summit from the U.K’s southwest county of Cornwall.

“Everyone at the table understood and understands both the seriousness and the challenges that we’re up against and the responsibility of our proud democracies to step up and deliver for the rest of the world,” the president said.

The leaders gathered over the weekend to discuss shared challenges and map potential paths forward, with climate change, the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, technology and geopolitics as the biggest talking points. It was the first in-person G-7 summit in nearly two years.

Biden said Sunday that leaders were enthusiastic that the U.S. was “back at the table” to work together to address global challenges.

“The lack of participation in the past and full engagement was noticed significantly, not only by the leaders of those countries but by the people in the G-7 countries,” the president said. “America is back in the business of leading the world alongside nations who share our most deeply held values.”

Biden announced on Thursday that his administration would provide 500 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to countries grappling with supply shortages. The president said the U.S. would provide doses “with no strings attached.”

The U.S. has faced pressure to share its vaccine supply with poorer countries, as the gap between wealthy and poor countries’ access to vaccines becomes increasingly stark and economists and medical experts warn of disastrous consequences of such inequality.

 “We value the inherent dignity of all people. In times of trouble, Americans reach out to offer a helping hand,” the president said Thursday. Biden also said the U.S. could potentially contribute 1 billion additional doses to the world in upcoming years.

Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday also mutually agreed to a new “Atlantic Charter,” summoning the spirit of the two countries’ World War II alliance and evoking a 1941 policy statement made by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt that envisioned a postwar world.

The new charter is aimed at cementing ties in trade, travel and technology between the U.S. and U.K., and is widely seen as a re-dedication to their “special relationship” after four years of former President Donald Trump’s “America first” policies strained many of America’s oldest alliances.

The G-7 is comprised of the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.S. The EU, which sends the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, also attends. Australia, India and South Korea were also invited to attend this year.

The president’s trip across the Atlantic also includes meeting the queen at Windsor Castle and attending his first NATO summit as head of state. Biden is due to meet his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16.

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