President Joe Biden and UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had their first bilateral meeting on Wednesday at the G20 in Bali, Indonesia. 

“We’re going to continue to support Ukraine as long as Russia continues their aggression,” said Biden in this opening remarks. “It’s way over the top what they’re doing,” added Biden, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Biden called the UK America’s “closest ally and closest friend” and showed gratitude towards the alliance between the US and the UK. “I am glad we’re on the same page in terms of supporting Ukraine,” said the President. 

Sunak agreed with Biden’s description of Russian strikes as “barbaric” and reiterated UK’s support for Ukraine in defending its sovereignty against Russian invasion. 

At the meeting, President Biden raised concerns about the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP).

No 10 comfirmed that Biden and Sunak “expressed their commitment to protecting the Good Friday Agreement” and added that Sunak “expressed his desire to get a negotiated settlement and to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is protected.”

16/11/2022. Bali, Indonesia. The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets the US President Joe Biden for a bilateral meeting at the G20. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Commenting on the US-UK relations, PM Rishi Sunak said he was “glad to see this partnership in action, whether standing up to the barbaric action by Russia in Ukraine or tackling climate change.”

Prime Minister Sunak shared on  Twitter that his meeting with Biden was “positive” in the face of global challenges. 

“We will work together, and with allies, to address the economic consequences of Putin’s brutality,” said Sunak. 

Sunak and Biden’s plan to tackle the economic consequences of the conflict in Ukraine include social programs to protect the most vulnerable populations in each region and worldwide, as well as efforts to maintain a long-term energy supply.

The leaders talked through other global issues, such as challenges posed by China. 

Sunak and Biden also discussed possible next steps in the fight against climate change, expressing how crucial sustainable and affordable energy supplies are in this ongoing crisis. 

Both leaders emphasized the importance of like-minded allies cooperating to fight against authoritarian regimes and agreed on efforts to ensure that developing countries grow sustainably.

According to No 10, Sunak and Biden look forward to developing relations between UK and US in areas such as trade and defense. 

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