Biden lands in Brussels to reaffirm NATO ties frayed under Trump


‘We do not view NATO as sort of protection racket’: Biden lands in Brussels to reaffirm transatlantic alliance after ties frayed under Trump

  • Joe Biden touched down in Brussels on Sunday evening
  • He is on second leg of first foreign trip as president
  • He’ll meet with NATO and EU leaders on Monday and Tuesday
  • ‘We do not view NATO as sort of protection racket,’ Biden said
  • He will strengthen ties frayed under Donald Trump  

Joe Biden touched down in Brussels on Sunday evening as he continues his first foreign trip as president and keeps his focus on rebuilding ties with European allies. 

He was welcomed by a Belgium military honor guard and three trumpeters. He wore a face mask due to coronavirus restrictions in Belgium.

The growing influence of Russia and China will top the agenda of Monday’s NATO meeting, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One on Sunday evening.

He said the meetings were not going to be ‘inflammatory.’

‘It’s going to be clear, straightforward and direct. And also, we’re not going to try to over-crank the extent to which tomorrow’s about China by any stretch. Tomorrow’s about collective security and defense,’ Sullivan said.

During his two days in Brussels, Biden will meet with NATO and EU leaders – many of them the same ones he saw at the G7. On Monday, he’ll hold a private meeting with the president of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan. Biden will also meet Tuesday with European Union leaders as well as visit Belgian King Phillipe.

Joe Biden touched down in Brussels on Sunday evening as he continues his first foreign trip as president

Joe Biden touched down in Brussels on Sunday evening as he continues his first foreign trip as president

Biden plans to continue his ‘America is Back’ message and strength the transatlantic ties frayed under Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump refused to reaffirm NATO’s Article 5 – which says when one member of the alliance is attacked, it is treated as if all members were attacked. And he complained about the amount of dues America paid to the alliance. 

President Biden said he will ‘make the case that we are back’ when he speaks to allies and will defend the alliance. 

‘We do not view NATO as sort of protection racket. We believe that NATO is vital to maintaining American security for the remainder of the century,’ the president said at a press conference in England on Sunday after he finished the G7 summit.

He reaffirmed the American commitment to Article 5.

‘Remember what happened on 9/11. We were attacked. NATO immediately supported us,’ he said. ‘We believe NATO and Section 5 is a sacred obligation. Bottom line is I think we made some progress in re establishing American credibility among our closest friends.’

During the meeting of the 30 NATO nations, the White House said they will launch  an ‘ambitious’ set of initiatives to ensure the alliance keeps providing security through 2030 and beyond.

It said the member countries would agree to revise NATO´s ‘Strategic Concept’ that will guide its ‘approach to the evolving strategic environment, which includes Russia’s aggressive policies and actions; challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China to our collective security, prosperity, and values; and transnational threats such as terrorism, cyber threats, and climate change.’

President Joe Biden is greeted as he steps off Air Force One in Brussels

President Joe Biden is greeted as he steps off Air Force One in Brussels

Air Force One lands in Brussels for Biden's meeting with NATO and EU leaders

Air Force One lands in Brussels for Biden’s meeting with NATO and EU leaders

President Joe Biden will spend his time in Brussels strengthening transatlantic relations frayed under President Donald Trump

President Joe Biden will spend his time in Brussels strengthening transatlantic relations frayed under President Donald Trump

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US would come out of the G7, NATO and EU meetings in a position of strength.

‘What we’re demonstrating in each of these meetings and summits is that democracies can come together and work effectively to actually deliver results for our people, and by the way, for people around the world, and also when we’re working together militarily, economically, diplomatically, politically, we’re a very powerful force,’ he said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’

After Brussels, Biden will travel to Geneva to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16. 

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