Journalist’s notebook: What to expect at the G-7 summit as Biden heads to Europe


This is a top marathon for President Biden. Five high-profile foreign meetings in just over a week – if you include her session with the Queen – plus sidebar chatter. Just the sort of thing the president, with decades of foreign policy experience, relishes. And after an interesting few years with former President Trump at the helm, something his allies might welcome.

“We all hope that a new sense of leadership and forward movement within the Western Alliance will emerge from this meeting,” German journalist and author Thomas Kielinger told Fox News.

French analyst Christian Malard added: “What they expect from Biden is probably the reestablishment of what I would call a ‘normal relationship’.”

James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation sniffed at the hype, telling us, “I think he’s going to be fine because the expectations are incredibly low.”

BIDEN TO MAKE FIRST ABROAD TRIP IN JUNE TO G-7 AND NATO SUMMITS

Still, the president’s goal at the G-7 summit, held in the Cornwall area in southwest Britain, is quite ambitious. As National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, it is about “… rallying the democracies of the world to meet the great challenges of our time.”

Circulating COVID-19 vaccines around the world, spurring international economic growth after COVID, addressing global warming and global tax issues are just a few of the things to be addressed.

Kielinger wants action, not words. “I believe that for democracy to remain credible and trustworthy, it must show that it can do things for the betterment of humanity.”

Malard agreed, saying he wanted more than rhetoric, especially after the oratorical flourishes of past presidents. “The tone will be different … more trust, but at the same time I’ll use the old expression Reagan used: trust but verify.”

China is not invited to any of the gatherings but will still be present. Sullivan notes that “rules-based” proposals dealing with issues such as global public health would be “… an alternative to what China has to offer.”

BIDEN MEETS QUEEN ELIZABETH II AT WINDSOR CASTLE ON JUNE 13

Heritage’s Carafano rhetoric meter always hits the charts: “I don’t mean it’s just a bunch of people reading a script, but it’s just a bunch of people reading a script.”

Meetings with NATO and EU leaders in Brussels early next week will focus on trade and security issues. The swift and final exit of the Trump administration from Afghanistan will undoubtedly come. But another major foreign policy target will be Russia. Before the climax of the talk-a-thon, next Wednesday’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Multiple issues will be addressed at the meeting in Geneva, Ukraine and Belarus to cyber-piracy and human rights.

Malard thinks Biden will have the support of his allies, “I think he will get… more support, more support.”

Heritage analyst Carafano has a warning for President Biden: “The only thing we’ve learned now from many successive presidents is that we have the same Putin. Russian policies are clearly not going to change.”

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Luckily for President Biden, there may be something else that doesn’t change much in the UK either: the Royals. As with many presidents before him, the meeting for him and the First Lady at Windsor Castle with Queen Elizabeth II between all politicians could be as calming as a good cup of English tea.

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