Joe Biden wants closer ties with allies in Central Europe: White House

US President Joe Biden declared he wanted closer cooperation with Central Europe when he spoke with the leaders of NATO’s eastern-flank states during a virtual summit co-hosted by Polish President Andrzej Duda, the White House has said. 

US President Joe Biden speaks with the leaders of NATOs eastern-flank states during a virtual summit co-hosted by Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday.

US President Joe Biden speaks with the leaders of NATO’s eastern-flank states during a virtual summit co-hosted by Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday.Photo: Igor Smirnow/KPRP

Biden spoke with „NATO’s eastern flank Allies in a virtual summit of the Bucharest Nine (B9) countries hosted by Presidents Klaus Iohannis of Romania and Andrzej Duda of Poland,” the White House said in a statement on Monday.

It added that Biden „underscored his commitment to rebuilding alliances and strengthening Transatlantic relations.”

He also „conveyed his desire for closer cooperation with our nine Allies in Central Europe and the Baltic and Black Sea regions on the full range of challenges, including global health security, climate change, energy security, and global economic recovery,” according to the White House statement.

Biden „expressed his support for enhancing NATO’s deterrence and defense posture, as well as the importance of Allies increasing their resilience against harmful economic and political actions by our strategic competitors,” the White House also said.

„In addition, he welcomed the opportunity to engage with these Allies – as well as with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who was also in attendance – about Alliance efforts to meet future threats, which will be discussed at the June 14 NATO Summit,” the statement further said.

„Finally, President Biden stressed the importance of strengthening democratic governance and rule of law – at home, within the Alliance, and around the world,” the White House concluded.

Leaders from nine countries on the eastern edge of NATO on Monday discussed security challenges with Biden amid chilly relations with Russia.

The online security consultations, co-hosted by Poland’s Duda, aimed to provide an opportunity to work out a common position for an upcoming NATO summit, Paweł Soloch, head of the Polish leader’s National Security Bureau (BBN), told reporters ahead of the event.

The virtual gathering brought together presidents from nations referred to as the Bucharest Nine (B9) group: Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovakia.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also took part in the event remotely.

The Bucharest Nine is a Polish-Romanian initiative launched in 2015 that aims to help exchange views and coordinate positions on the security of NATO’s eastern-flank countries.

Poland’s Duda on Monday morning held bilateral talks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis during a visit to Bucharest.Polish President Andrzej Duda (right) and his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis (left) meet in Bucharest on Monday.Polish President Andrzej Duda (right) and his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis (left) meet in Bucharest on Monday. Photo: PAP/Jakub Borowski

On Tuesday, the Polish president is scheduled to meet with soldiers taking part in NATO military exercises in eastern Romania.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, IAR, whitehouse.gov

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