Biden to join NATO leaders at June 14 summit in Brussels

Politics

President Joe Biden speaks Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the White House in Washington, after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders of NATO member countries plan to discuss tense ties with Russia and China, the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the future of the 30-nation military alliance at a summit in Belgium on June 14.

The meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels will be a face-to-face opportunity for Biden to rebuild relations with leaders from Europe and Canada that became strained under former President Donald Trump.

“This is a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday in a statement.

Stoltenberg said the meeting will focus on the security “challenges of today and tomorrow: Russia’s aggressive actions, the threat of terrorism, cyber-attacks, emerging and disruptive technologies, the security impact of climate change, and the rise of China.”

The meeting will take place as NATO-led troops leave Afghanistan, the alliance’s biggest and most challenging operation ever, with the aim of being gone by Sept. 11 at the latest. NATO allies activated the organization’s collective defense clause for the first and only time after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 to rally to the defense of the United States.

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