Tuesday , 25 January 2022

Biden Set For G20 Summit, Meetings With Allies On Iran Nuclear Program

RFL/RE – U.S. President Joe Biden has arrived in Europe on October 29 with a full itinerary, including the summit of the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized nations in Rome, talks with allies on the Iran nuclear program, and a planned session with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Biden is also due to attend the COP26 world climate conference in Glasgow as the world struggles to deal with the effects of climate change and global warming.

First on the agenda is the Vatican meeting with the pope on October 29 for the deeply religious Biden, a practicing Catholic.

It is unclear whether Biden’s audience with the pope will include the controversial issue of abortion. The Biden administration backs the right to abortion, which is at odds with the position of the Catholic Church.

Biden is the second Catholic to serve as U.S. president, following John F. Kennedy from 1961-63.

The two-day G20 summit is scheduled to begin on October 30 in the Italian capital.

Biden is set to meet for bilateral talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G20.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the meeting would “cover the waterfront” of issues as the two look to ease tensions following a rift over a U.S. security pact with Britain and Australia that saw France lose out on a major submarine deal.

U.S. officials stressed, however, that the main topic on October 30 at a meeting involving Biden, Macron, and leaders of Germany and Britain will be the status of the Iranian nuclear program.

Sullivan told reporters that Biden would be working for a “shared strategy and solidarity and unity in our approach” on Iran. He did not say if the leaders would discuss the resumption of talks with Tehran.

Tehran has said it expects to resume talks with world powers in November on reinvigorating the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, which then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of in 2018.

Biden is also expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sullivan said. Erdogan has said he wants to discuss a deal with Washington over F-16 fighter jets after a pact for more advanced F-35s was scrapped due to Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile system.

On November 1, Biden will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 world climate conference, where the U.S. leader is expected to give a major speech at the UN-sponsored event.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa