The U.K. prime minister is set to host Joe Biden and other world leaders for a virtual G7 meeting later this week

By Sean Neumann
February 15, 2021 11:38 AM
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Boris Johnson and Joe Biden
| Credit: Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty; Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The relationship between the U.S. and the United Kingdom is looking more and more positive in recent weeks, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The prime minister said one major reason for that is he now gets to work with President Joe Biden, Johnson told CBS News' Face the Nation program on Sunday morning.

"There's been some important developments in the way the U.K.-U.S. thinking has been coming together in the last few weeks," Johnson, 56, said. "Particularly on issues like climate change, on NATO, on Iran — but above all, on the ways that the U.S. and the U.K. are going to work together to deal with the environmental challenge that faces our planet."

On those issues, Johnson added, "I think some of the stuff we're now hearing from the new American administration and from the new White House is incredibly encouraging. And we want to work with the president on that."

Biden, 78, has previously criticized Johnson and has likened him to his predecessor Donald Trump. But the U.K. prime minister didn't dwell on that Sunday when asked if those comments got the two leaders off on the wrong foot.

Johnson bypassed the question about Biden's past comments and instead honed in on what the two leaders can now do together, especially when it comes to building back the countries following the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Joe Biden
| Credit: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March 2020
| Credit: Peter Summers/Getty

Along with Johnson's positive tone Sunday, Biden has mostly received a similar warm welcome from other world leaders since taking office last month.

The 46th president replaced Trump, 74, who led the U.S. with an isolationist approach under his version of global policy. Trump had routinely broke norms with his international relations and caused both political and personal stirs among other world leaders.

At a 2019 NATO summit in London, Johnson — who Trump had previously called a "friend" — was caught on camera gossiping about the former U.S. president along with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Meanwhile in terms of policy, the former U.S. president had pulled the country out of global pacts like the Paris Climate Agreement and threatened last year, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to pull the U.S.'s funding out from the World Health Organization.

Biden quickly signed a slew of executive orders reversing Trump's policies as soon as he took office last month — among them recommitting the U.S. to both the climate agreement and the WHO.

Johnson said Sunday that he and Biden have already had a number of "fantastic conversations" within the new president's first four weeks in office.

The U.K. prime minister is scheduled to host Biden and other world leaders for a virtual G7 conference this Friday to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and to call for further international cooperation on vaccine distribution, according to a rundown of the gathering set out by the U.K. government.