Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is traveling to London, UK, to attend the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meetings, the first such meetings to occur in-person in two years and a month before the G7 Leaders’ Summit in June. Along with reaffirming U.S.-UK ties in London, the Secretary will also visit Kyiv, Ukraine to affirm U.S. support for Ukrainian security and democratic reforms.
In London, G7 foreign ministers will “lay the groundwork” for the Leaders’ Summit and commit to cooperating on shared challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change as well as geopolitical ones such as China and the Indo-Pacific.
“…We need countries to cooperate, now more than ever,” Secretary Blinken said in his foreign policy address to a domestic audience in March.
More than cooperating on shared challenges, the meetings are an opportunity for G7 members to demonstrate that governments based on democratic principles are still able to address the major issues facing their countries and the world – Currently, this has meant expanding the coalition of so-called ‘like-minded countries’.
“What matters to us most is that we broaden the international caucus of like-minded countries that stand up for open societies, human rights and democracy,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is reported to have said to Reuters on Sunday.
To this end, the G7 under UK leadership has invited South Africa, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brunei as Chair of ASEAN to attend the ministers’ and leaders’ meetings as guests.
In London, Blinken will also meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, leaders of the U.S.’ “closest Ally,” according to a State Department statement detailing areas of cooperation between the U.S. and UK.
Blinken will then travel to Kyiv, Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky along with other government officials and civil society representatives.
The meetings in Kyiv come as Ukraine faces increased threats to its security and its anti-corruption efforts.
The U.S. will “reaffirm [its] unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially in the face of ongoing Russian aggression” and “encourage more progress on Ukraine’s institutional reform and anticorruption agenda,” the State Department said in a statement on the Secretary’s trip.