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Biden Reassures NATO Leaders Of His Leadership As He Hosts Summit

Biden’s team underscored his vigorous leadership, crediting him for NATO’s expansion, including Finland and Sweden joining since Russia’s invasion.

President Joe Biden delivered a forceful speech to welcome NATO leaders to Washington, DC, aiming to reassure both international allies and domestic supporters of his leadership amid a looming election challenge from former President Donald Trump.

In his brief but strongly delivered remarks at the summit’s opening, Biden declared the military alliance “more powerful than ever” as it faces a “pivotal moment” with the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. 

Emphasising the threat posed by autocrats overturning global order, Biden announced additional military aid for Kyiv, including Patriot missile batteries and other systems from the US, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Romania to bolster Ukraine’s air defenses.

“The war will end with Ukraine remaining a free and independent country,” Biden stated. “Russia will not prevail. Ukraine will prevail.” 

His clear and confident tone was a marked contrast to his performance in last month’s presidential debate with Trump.

Amid Biden’s efforts to project strength, congressional Democrats privately debated his leadership, with some expressing doubt about his re-election bid. Notably, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey became the seventh House Democrat to publicly call for Biden not to seek another term, citing high stakes.

Visiting diplomats also expressed skepticism about Biden’s future, with one unnamed European envoy stating, “We don’t see how he can come back after the debate.”

In response, Biden’s team highlighted his vigorous handling of the presidency, crediting him for NATO’s expansion since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.

Leaders from NATO’s 32 member countries, including the UK’s new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, converged on the US capital for the summit. Starmer reaffirmed Labour’s unwavering support for NATO and condemned a recent deadly attack on a children’s hospital in Kyiv as a tragic backdrop to the summit. He emphasized the UK’s commitment to advancing substantial support for Ukraine.

Biden’s speech, delivered at the historic venue where the original NATO treaty was signed, concluded with the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Meanwhile, Trump criticized NATO allies during a campaign rally in Florida, attended by his sons, including his youngest, Barron. Trump reiterated his stance that NATO countries must increase their defense spending, claiming his previous warnings led to significant contributions.

Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky, speaking at a separate event in Washington, urged American voters to support Ukraine, highlighting the importance of the upcoming US general election.

Zelensky is scheduled to meet with Biden on Thursday.

Source: BBC

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