Biden finds his comfort zone on the world stage in first international trip as president
June 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 20.4%. 2 min read.
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Geneva Airport in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Biden is returning to Washington as he wraps up his trip to Europe. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Even Queen Elizabeth II wanted to know: What would President Joe Biden say to Vladimir Putin?
Traveling across Europe for the past week, Biden found his reputation as a foreign policy wiseman preceded him -- even at Windsor Castle, whose occupant has met her share of world leaders.
Yet his premise will be tested in the coming months of his presidency as the Biden doctrine comes into sharper view and the relationship he's crafting with Putin and other world leaders develops.
Biden ran for president on a promise to repair frayed alliances and a pledge to restore the United States to its standing in the world.
For the last week, as he jetted from the rocky outcroppings of coastal England to the glass hallways of NATO to the Swiss manor house where he met Putin, Biden slipped comfortably into a club of world leaders he's long sought to join.
The results of that particular brand of diplomacy were easier to detect during Biden's stops at the G7 and NATO -- where western leaders were eager to welcome him to their ranks -- than with Putin, with whom he said he ran out of things to talk about after two hours.
"President Biden is an experienced statesman," Putin said through a translator at his hour-long press conference following their summit.
"As I've told (Chinese President) Xi Jinping myself, I'm not looking for conflict," Biden said of his Chinese counterpart, whose name came up during nearly every stop on his European tour.
Of all the world leaders Biden has encountered over the years -- including those he encountered in Europe this week -- Xi is the one he has spent most time with.
"I found it matters to almost every world leader -- no matter where they're from -- how they're perceived, their standing in the world," Biden said before boarding his plane for Washington.