Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Britain was the United States’ closest ally and friend during his first face to face meeting with Rishi Sunak since he became Prime Minister. The pair met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali with Mr Sunak saying that the partnership between the two nations was unique and that there values and interests were aligned.
However, the meeting was overshadowed by news that missiles hit a rural area of Poland, killing two people.
According to reports, the missiles struck a grain factory near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday.
It is unclear if they were deliberately fired into Polish territory or if they accidentally strayed off course.
Before meeting the Prime Minister Mr Biden said it was “unlikely” that the missiles had been fired from Russia but warned that an investigation needed to take place first.
At the start of his meeting with Mr Sunak the US President reiterated that his support for Ukraine was absolute.
He said: “We’re going to continue to support Ukraine as long as Russia continues their aggression.”
The former Vice President also branded the latest Russian attack on Ukraine seen as revenge for Moscow’s withdrawal from Kherson as “barbaric”.
Mr Biden also told Mr Sunak: “I’m glad we’re on the same page in terms of supporting Ukraine.”
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According to USA Today, it is likely that Mr Biden addressed key security issues with Mr Sunak including the AUKUS trilateral security pact.
The veteran Irish American lawmaker is also likely to have touched on the issues surrounding the Northern Irish Protocol, which has led to political gridlock at Stormont.
Mr Biden’s colleague, House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, has raised concerns that tearing up the protocol could reignite border tensions between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
According Dan Hamilton, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the US and Europe, Mr Biden is likely to develop a stronger relationship with Mr Sunak than he did with Boris Johnson or Liz Truss.
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He said: “Even though US-UK relations remained close under Sunak’s predecessors, personality differences hampered Biden’s relations with Liz Truss and Boris Johnson.
“Biden and his aides were often exasperated by Johnson’s chaotic style.
“Biden once described Johnson as a ‘physical and emotional clone’ of (Donald) Trump.
“Truss’ in-your-face approach was a turn-off.”
However, foreign policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher Nile Gardiner argued that Mr Biden has previously been accused of “sniping” at the UK.
He said: “Both sides here, in London and Washington, will want to advance a very strong special relationship between the two countries, but Biden does have a track record of sniping at the UK.
“This is an ongoing cause of unhappiness within the Conservative Party. … And so it remains to be seen exactly how Biden navigates the new partnership with with Sunak.”