Boris Johnson struggles to defend Joe Biden’s handling of Afghanistan withdrawal
Boris Johnson calls for Biden’s support in climate crisis battle
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Boris Johnson has been called on to defend the action of President Joe Biden during the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The Prime Minister was grilled on the level of cooperation between Downing Street and the White House as the Taliban swept into power last month. Mr Johnson has been staying in New York during this week’s UN Security Council meeting at a time when President Biden remains under pressure over the chaotic scenes seen in Kabul.
Boris Johnson told NBC in New York: “America has been [in Afghanistan] for 20 years.
“And it is a respectable argument to say that enough is enough.
The Prime Minister continued: “Look could we have done it a bit differently?
“Maybe we could.”
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Earlier, Mr Johnson had told reporters the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and US was as strong as any “time in decades/”
He said: “As we go to Washington, our relations with the US are about as good as they have been at any time in decades.
“It hasn’t been a relationship that’s been very long in gestation, but it’s terrific,” he said.
“We see eye-to-eye on all sorts of things.”
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It comes Mr Johnson looks to iron out a trade deal between the US and the UK following Brexit.
However, on Tuesday, BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg warned that the UK is not likely to strike a trade deal with the US “anytime soon”.
Ms Kuenssberg told the Today programme: “In terms of a trade deal I think this administration has a very different attitude to the previous Trump one.
“You know there is no pretense now from the White House that somehow the UK is on the list to get some kind of trade deal done, and Boris Johnson and his government are now quite realistic about that you know Boris Johnson said ‘well I am not in any particular hurry.
“‘The Americans are pretty ruthless when it comes to negotiations and I would rather a good deal than a quick deal.'”
She added: “Well what does that tell us? It tells us that Downin Street doesn’t think that one is going to happen anytime soon.”
On Monday, US trade representative Katharine Tai set out the conditions for a deal and stressed the importance to the US of protecting stability in Northern Ireland amid tensions over the protocol.
“She discussed USTR’s ongoing review of the US – UK free trade agreement negotiations to evaluate how a potential agreement could support the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader Build Back Better agenda,” said a spokesperson for Ms Tai.
“Ambassador Tai also discussed President Biden’s strong support for preserving the Good Friday Agreement that has brought peace to Northern Ireland and the importance of finding a durable solution to implementing the Irish Protocol.”
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