Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden tout the quality of their alliance despite a split over cluster bombs
US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street, London, July 10, 2023. SUSAN WALSH / AP
Despite a disagreement over the cluster bombs that Washington wants to deliver to Kiev, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak showed the strength of the ties between their countries during a brief meeting in Downing Street, on the eve of an important NATO summit in Lithuania where support for Ukraine will be discussed.
Welcomed by Rishi Sunak on the steps of Downing Street, Joe Biden praised the relationship “solid as a rock” that unites the two countries. USA and UK are “two of the strongest allies” within NATO, boasted Rishi Sunak.
This visit, however, comes two days after the decision of the United States to deliver to Ukraine cluster munitions, controversial and banned in many NATO countries. Following in the footsteps of embarrassed reactions from European allies, Rishi Sunak recalled on Saturday that the United Kingdom is a signatory to the 2008 Oslo convention banning the production and use of these weapons, and “discourages” their usage.
“We will continue to do our part to support Ukraine”he insisted, however, London being the second supplier of military aid to kyiv since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
Before Mr. Biden arrived in London, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan reduced the difference in position between Washington and London to one “legal”. The UK is “signatory of the Oslo convention, the United States is not”, he said. Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak are however “on the same page strategically on Ukraine”he insisted.