Joe Biden will attend the G7 summit in Cornwall, U.K., and a NATO meeting in Brussels this June in during what will be his first foreign trip as U.S. president, the White House announced Friday.
“This trip will highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalizing the trans-Atlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The trip signals a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, which has largely halted international travel — including among world leaders. Biden only last week hosted a foreign leader — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga — for the first time at the White House, and the U.S. held this week’s global climate summit virtually.
Last year’s Group of Seven meeting was scheduled to be hosted by former President Donald Trump at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, but was ultimately scrapped when other nations expressed reservations about in-person travel.
Biden will be the second consecutive president to forgo the modern presidential tradition of making Canada the first foreign visit. Trump instead traveled to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, the Vatican, and Belgium for his first trip abroad. But Biden hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his first virtual summit and spoke with the Canadian leader about vaccine supply earlier this week.