CARBIS BAY, U.K. — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with President Joe Biden for the first time in person on Thursday ahead of the G-7 Summit and called his meeting with the U.S. President “a breath of fresh air.”
Johnson met with Biden at the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay for an hour and 20 minutes as the two leaders discussed important global issues such as COVID-19 and climate change.
“It’s a big breath of fresh air,” Johnson said. “It was a long, long, good session. We covered a huge range of subjects. “It’s new, it’s interesting and we’re working very hard together.”
Despite the compliment from Johnson, Biden raised some important issues about a possible fight between Britain and the European Union that could damage relations with he British region of Northern Ireland, a place Biden holds dear to his heart.
Biden is proud of his Irish heritage and was wanting to prevent tensions between Brussels and London from undermining a 1998 U.S. peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement.
However, Johnson downplayed any issues with America when he spoke to the media following the meeting.
“America, the United States, Washington, the UK, plus the European Union have one thing we absolutely all want to do,” Johnson said. “And that is to uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, and make sure we keep the balance of the peace process going. That is absolutely common ground.”
Prior to the meeting, the two leaders and their spouses took a walk to admire the view. First Lady Jill Biden wearing a jacket embroidered with the word “LOVE”.
“It’s a beautiful beginning,” she said.
Johnson’s office said he and Biden agreed that both Britain and the EU “had a responsibility to work together and to find pragmatic solutions to allow unencumbered trade” between Northern Ireland, Britain, and Ireland.”