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UK PM Keir Starmer's Inaugural Foreign Trip Leads Him to Washington


July 10 :
The first overseas travel by the newly elected prime minister of the United Kingdom, Keir Starmer, who became prime minister on July 5th after a landslide election victory, was to attend NATO's 75th anniversary conference in Washington, DC, on July 9th. On the tarmac at London Stansted Airport, he assured reporters that Britain will continue to back the Western military alliance and the battle against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Still, he emphasized that the focus of the coming days would be on uniting with our partners, planning concrete steps to bolster Ukraine's defenses, and sending a resounding message to Putin that the United States will resist Russian aggression no matter where it occurs.

Starmer, 61, stated at a gathering of his senior staff that the summit is a chance to reset connections, reaffirm our unwavering dedication to the alliance, and showcase Britain's global might.

Next week, the United Kingdom will host a summit of European leaders, and this visit marks the beginning of a diplomatic frenzy in Starmer's first two weeks in office. James Strong, a foreign policy expert, told AFP that, more than anything else, it will be a chance for him to network with other leaders and gain insight into their perspectives.

During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the former Conservative government of Britain was a strong ally, aiding the country with financial aid, weaponry, and military training. While meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the NATO summit, Starmer is likely to personally reiterate his commitment of continuous support for Kyiv under Labour.

Foreign Secretary David Lammy has been visiting NATO nations in Europe, while Defence Secretary John Healey has already visited Ukraine since the July 4 election. Even though NATO has set a goal of 2% of GDP for defense spending, Labour is determined to meet the Conservatives' pledge and increase it to 2.5% of GDP.

As an adjunct professor at London's Queen Mary University, Strong warned that "business as usual" would likely be a popular topic of conversation.

Starmer will want to reassure friends that ties would be reset after Brexit, while simultaneously stressing consistency on key foreign policy topics. The Labour Party has promised to work more closely with its European neighbors, both individually and collectively, on a variety of agreements, notably those with Germany and France.

The importance of being a dependable partner, building ties, and, most importantly, being steady and predictable will be heavily discussed, according to Strong. Along with strengthening the so-called UK-US special partnership, Starmer will have the chance to meet with US President Joe Biden and establish rapport during the trip.

the center-left of Starmer's While the fact that the Labour Party is more in line with Biden's Democratic Party than the Conservatives would be an advantage, the president's trip is scheduled during a delicate period.

There is mounting pressure on 81-year-old Joe Biden to step aside and let a younger Democrat challenge Republican challenger Donald Trump in November's presidential election after Biden's dismal debate performance.

Starmer will keep in mind that beginning in January of next year, he might have to confront Trump, who is an isolationist. According to Sophia Gaston, head of foreign policy at the right-wing Policy Exchange think-tank, he would want to show how committed he is to the UK's alliance with the US and strengthen the'special relationship' no matter what happens.

Starmer and Biden may have differing views on the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, since the Labour Party is perceived as being more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than the United States government.

Trade, commerce, and technology are just a few areas that the leaders are expected to touch on when discussing strategy towards China. On July 18, Starmer will play host to the European Political Community conference at Blenheim Palace, close to Oxford in central England. Olaf Scholz of Germany and Emmanuel Macron of France are likely to be in attendance.

With the EU, Labour seeks to establish "an ambitious" security agreement. "The two summits give us a chance to put more flesh on the bones of this proposal," said Olivia O'Sullivan of Chatham House, an international affairs think tank that oversees the UK in the world initiative, according to AFP. Following his initiation into the international arena in Washington, Starmer may also wish to elaborate on the contours of a post-Brexit trade agreement.