US President Joe Biden arrived in London, Uk, on Sunday ahead of the NATO leaders’ summit in Lithuania this week.
Joe Biden will have a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles III – their first since the king’s coronation, to “further strengthen the close relationship between our nations”, the White House says.
Britain also said it was looking forward to welcoming President Biden, with Prime Minister Sunak citing that they were America’s most important trade, defense, and diplomatic partner.
Joe Biden will meet Rishi Sunak on Monday where they will discuss many issues, with the war in Ukraine being the headline. They will also talk about the newly created U.S.-U.K. partnership called the Atlantic Declaration announced last month.
The alliance aims to get stronger alignment on trade defense, data protection, and security.
Joe Biden will also discuss climate change with Britain’s head of state, King Charles, who has a keen interest in environmental matters. The meeting will be joined by philanthropists and investors at Windsor Castle.
The UK disagreed with the US on the supply of cluster bombs to Ukraine which are widely banned because of the danger they pose to civilians.
The US argues that they need to be sent to Ukraine because their weapon stocks are dwindling.
The UK on Saturday, said it was one of 123 countries that signed up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions – an international treaty which bans the production or use of the weapons.
Some US allies and NATO member nations also disapproved of the sending of cluster bombs. New Zealand said on Sunday the munitions could cause “huge damage to innocent people”.
However, the US decided on Friday, to fulfill the Ukrainian request for cluster bombs. Officials said this was part of a military aid package worth $800m (£626m).
Canada and Spain also said they were not in support to supply cluster bombs which have a high failure – or dud – rate. Unexploded bomblets detonating on their own.
“No to cluster bombs and yes to the legitimate defence of Ukraine, which we understand should not be carried out with cluster bombs,” Spain’s Defence Minister Margarita Robles said.
However, Germany said though it would not provide such weapons to Ukraine, it understood the American position.
Cluster bombs release lots of smaller bomblets that can detonate and kill indiscriminately over a wide area. Unexploded bomblets can stay on the ground for many years before they detonate.
The US says it has received written reassurances from Kyiv that Ukrainian troops will not use the weapons in Russia civilian areas, and will monitor and report on their use, but Russia dismissed these assurances as “not worth anything”.
NATO member nations will meet in Vilnius on Tuesday and Wednesday to deliberate plans about the ongoing Ukraine-Russian war.
The meeting will welcome Finland, who joined last year in April. Sweden’s move to join was blocked by Turkey who said they harbour terrorists.
Though the US is expected to help negotiate Sweden’s entry with Turkey, Biden has said that Ukraine’s request to join cannot happen due to their ongoing war with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected to attend this week’s summit.