Biden, Sunak Recommit on Ukraine, Agree to Address AI

President says two nations are 'leading together'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 8, 2023 4:26 PM CDT
Biden, Sunak Agree on Ukraine, Clean Energy, AI
President Joe Biden meets with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2023.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday reiterated their commitment to help Ukraine repel Russia's ongoing invasion, while agreeing to step up cooperation on clean energy and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. In wide-ranging talks at the White House, the leaders said they agreed on a new "21st century partnership" that includes greater cooperation between the two countries on clean energy transition, development of emerging technologies, and protecting technology that is critical to national security. The discussion, their most sustained interaction so far, also covered China, economic security, a new critical minerals agreement and more, the AP reports.

"We will put our values front and center," Biden said as he and Sunak sat down in the Oval Office. At a joint news conference later, the president said there was no issue on which "our nations are not leading together." Sunak acknowledged that he and Biden are facing a daunting moment. The visit to Washington is Sunak’s first since becoming prime minister in October, though he'd met face-to-face with Biden four times. "Our economies are seeing perhaps the biggest transformation since the Industrial Revolution as new technologies provide incredible opportunities, but also give our adversaries more tools," Sunak said. He wants the UK to play a central role in the development of artificial intelligence, per the AP.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was high on the agenda. The US and UK are the biggest donors to the Ukraine's war effort and play a central role in a long-term effort announced last month to train, and eventually equip, Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. Biden expressed confidence that Congress would continue to provide Ukraine funding despite hesitation among Republican leaders at the growing cost of the war. He also reflected that the two countries have worked through some of the toughest moments in modern history side-by-side, recalling the meetings that Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt held in the White House. "They asserted that the strength of the partnership between Great Britain and the United States was strength of the free world," Biden told Sunak. "I still think there's truth to that assertion."

(Read more US-British relations stories.)

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