UK PM Liz Truss to meet US President Joe Biden on Sunday
Liz Truss hopes to hold her debut meeting as prime minister with Joe Biden when the US President visits Britain for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, two people familiar with the matter said. The state funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey in front of 2,000 guests including heads of state and government, as well as European royalty. Biden, his wife and the presidents of France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and Israel have all confirmed their attendance. Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako of Japan will also be among the 500 dignitaries attending from around the world. Truss’s spokesperson Max Blain said the conversations with allies would not be formal bilateral meetings. He portrayed them as chats to offer condolences over the Queen’s death, during which politics is likely to come up. The government-owned country house of Chevening will be used as one base for the meetings and others will be held in London. Relations between Truss and the Biden administration are being strained by UK threats to rip up the post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland, and the question of whether Biden has put a potential trade deal on the back-burner. Reports have suggested Truss could also speak to Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin on the margins of the funeral, amid strained relations between the two countries over the continuing row about the Northern Ireland protocol. French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed his attendance at the funeral after offering his country’s condolences in a call to King Charles III. Macron tweeted about the “unbreakable” ties between France and the UK, as he promised to “strengthen” their relationship by “following the path” of the late Queen.