Biden, Sunak agree to stand with Ukraine in first call | news

In a first telephone call, the two heads of government reaffirmed the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain.

US President Joe Biden and Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have agreed to work together to support Ukraine and oppose China, the White House said in a statement in a first phone call hours after Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister this year was.

The two leaders reiterated the “special relationship” that exists between their countries and said they would work together to advance global security and prosperity, the White House said in a readout of the call on Tuesday.

“Leaders agreed on the importance of working together to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its aggression,” it said.

Biden and Sunak also agreed to “address the challenges posed by China,” which Washington has identified as its key geopolitical and economic rival on the world stage.

Downing Street published its own reading of the call, which said the pair had “discussed the extent of British-American cooperation both bilaterally and in regions such as the Indo-Pacific” as well as the more contentious issue of Northern Ireland.

Biden congratulated Sunak in a tweet earlier Tuesday. On Monday he described the appointment of Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister as “quite amazing, a groundbreaking milestone”.

Sunak, the eldest son of a doctor and pharmacist of Indian descent, inherited an economic crisis after Liz Truss resigned after six weeks in office.

On Tuesday he held his first phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he pledged Britain’s “steadfast support” to Ukraine.

Britain has been a key European ally of the United States in arming and supporting Ukraine’s military in an attempt to repel the Russian invasion that began last February.

Both his predecessors Boris Johnson and Truss had been vocal in their full support for the war-torn country, and on Tuesday night the new Prime Minister said support for Britain under his leadership will be “as strong as ever”.

Calling it a “privilege” to speak to Zelenskyy, who had previously sent him congratulations, Sunak tweeted: “Both he and the Ukrainian people can count on the UK’s continued solidarity and support. We will always stand by Ukraine.”

Zelenskyy tweeted that it was an “excellent conversation,” during which the couple agreed to “write a new chapter” in relations between the two countries.


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