© Reuters. Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss walks outside Number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain September 6, 2022. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
By Steve Holland and Trevor Hunnicutt
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden spoke by phone on Tuesday with Liz Truss to congratulate her on becoming Britain’s new prime minister, and both leaders vowed to strengthen their relationship as they work together. each other against Russia.
“I look forward to deepening the special relationship between our countries and working closely on global challenges, including continuing to support Ukraine as it defends itself against aggression by Ukraine. Russia,” Biden said in a tweet.
The two leaders spoke by phone on Tuesday afternoon and could meet soon after the United Nations General Assembly in late September.
In a statement, the prime minister’s office said it had discussed deepening cooperation on NATO and the US-Australia-UK security agreement set up last year to counter China. Truss looks forward to “working closely with President Biden as the leader of liberal democracies to address common challenges, especially the extreme economic problems caused by Putin’s war.” out,” the British statement said.
Truss won the leadership race for the ruling Conservative Party on Monday and took office as prime minister on Tuesday, as Britain faces its toughest set of challenges in decades.
The so-called special relationship between the United States and Britain has remained consistently solid in recent years, despite frictions between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May.
Washington and London have joined forces in helping Ukraine in its fight against Russia and against Chinese influence in the Pacific. But a bilateral trade deal that some British officials hope could offset economic and trade turmoil after Brexit has yet to materialize under Biden.
A US official said the White House expects a lot of continuity from Boris Johnson to Truss and that Biden and Truss will likely band together to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing influence. in the Indo-Pacific.
Biden gets along with Johnson, but he may have tensions with Truss over Northern Ireland.
As a member of parliament, she introduced legislation to repeal the Northern Ireland Protocol and Biden has always insisted that Britain did nothing that would jeopardize the quarter-century peace in Northern Ireland.
A British statement in the call said both leaders “agreed on the importance of defending the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday).”
US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel reiterated the US position on the Northern Ireland peace accord on Tuesday.
“The U.S. priority remains to protect the fruits of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and to maintain peace, stability and prosperity for the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.