Only six months into his first year as president, Biden has attended a number of important meetings and he has given the US and the rest of the world hope with a quote from the 2021 G7 summit summing it up: “America’s back.”
Joe Biden and Donald Trump are two very different leaders and have left very different impressions during their meetings at the G7 summits, NATO meetings, and meetings with other world leaders.
At G7 summits, it is a tradition for world leaders to walk together to where they take the “family photo.” In 2017, Trump did not walk with the other world leaders at the summit. Rather, he requested a golf cart to drive him. This year’s summit was the complete opposite. When it was time to walk to the “family photo,” Biden walked with the group, closely accompanying French President Emmanuel Macron. The contrast could be seen as a symbol of how one is more focused on himself while the other is willing to cooperate, work with and communicate with other world leaders.
Another summit both former president Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden attended is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meetings. NATO, a military alliance made up of 30 countries, has “Article 5” as one of its main principles. This article states that if one of the countries in NATO gets attacked or invaded, the rest of the countries part of this alliance will come to help the country fight back. According to NATO, “an attack on one Ally is considered an attack against all Allies.” Back in 2017, Trump had said that if a member of NATO was under attack, the US may not come to its aid. Joe Biden is all for Article 5. At this year’s NATO summit, Joe Biden stated “I want to make it clear: NATO is critically important for US interests in and of itself. If there weren’t one, we’d have to invent one,” Biden said shortly after arriving during a meeting with NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg. “I just want all of Europe to know the United States is there.” In this situation, we see Biden trying to reassume NATO members, undo the mistakes Trump had made and fix America’s strained reputation.
Meetings with Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, are another area where differences appear. US government officials found information that Russia had interfered with the 2016 presidential election but Trump refused to believe that assertion. He sided with Putin who indicated that they did not interfere. There are many gaps in public records and no information in classified files on what was said at these meetings with Putin. It is reported that at one of Trump’s meetings with Putin, Trump took his interpreter’s notes and wanted the interpreter to keep quiet about what was discussed. In contrast to Trump, Biden does not accept Russia’s view of events. Biden believes that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election. He stated that there should be “some basic rules of the road that we can all abide by,” and made clear that the United States would continue to “raise issues of fundamental human rights.”
With these three examples of presidential meetings, it is hard not to notice the differences between the current US president and former US president. Here we see one president thinking and focusing more on himself rather than his country while the other trying to make good decisions for his country and the world.
Image: Unsplash/Gayatri Malhotra