United States president Joe Biden and British prime minister Boris Johnson on Thursday signed a new version of the Atlantic Charter that cements trade, travel and technology ties between the two allies and includes a pledge to work together to tackle the world's most pressing issues.
The new charter, a revisited version of the policy statement by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, is adapted to the challenges of the 21st century and expresses their common goals for the future.
The two leaders signed the new version of the document in Carbis Bay (in Cornwall, southwest of England) during their meeting on Thursday, on the eve of the start of the G7 summit on Friday.
It is the first face-to-face talk Biden and Johnson have held. Before his arrival, Biden said he looked forward to “affirming the special relationship between the US and the UK and discussing how we’ll tackle our shared challenges together in the years ahead.”
In the Charter, both countries affirm their commitment to support shared values and defend themselves in the face of "new and old" challenges.
The original charter promoted democracy and free trade and was “one of the greatest triumphs of UK and US relations,” Downing Street said.
The new Atlantic Charter respects the values of the original but contains agreements on how to fight modern challenges like cyber-attacks, pandemics, and climate change.
Biden also stressed the need to stand behind the Good Friday agreement and not let the standoff over post-Brexit trade affect the delicate peace in Northern Ireland. The US president, who has Irish ancestral roots, has shown special interest in the matter.
Biden’s trip to Europe is his first overseas visit since being sworn in as president in January.
The G7 summit will take place in Cornwall from June 11-13. EFE