President Biden opened the first overseas trip of his term Wednesday with a declaration that "the United States is back" as he seeks to reassert the nation on the world stage and steady European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor. The president's first stop after landing in the UK Wednesday was a visit with US troops and their families at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, where he laid out his mission for the trip, the AP reports. "We're going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and issues that matter the most to our future," he said. "That we're committed to leading with strength, defending our values, and delivering for our people."
The challenges awaiting Biden overseas were clear as the president and the audience wore masks—a reminder of the pandemic that is still raging around much of the world even as its threat recedes within the United States. "We have to end COVID-19 not just at home—which we’re doing—but everywhere," Biden said. The president will hold a sitdown Thursday with British Prime Minster Boris Johnson a day ahead of the G-7 summit in Cornwall. After the summit concludes, Biden and first lady Jill Biden will meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, NPR reports. The president will then visit Brussels for a NATO summit and a meeting with the heads of the European Union. The trip finale will be Biden's meeting with Putin.
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