Biden unlikely to host foreign leader in person for ‘a couple of months’
President Biden is unlikely to meet in person with a foreign leader for “a couple of months,” press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
“I would anticipate for all of you that it will be a couple of months before the president invites a foreign leader to meet in person here at the White House,” Psaki said at a news briefing.
The comments offer the first glimpse of a timeline the White House has given of when Biden might resume in-person meetings with foreign leaders as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Biden has held calls with numerous foreign leaders since taking office, but he has yet to meet face-to-face with any of them.
Biden will call into a virtual Group of Seven (G-7) meeting on Friday as well as the Munich Security Conference.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office said in a readout of a call on Jan. 22 that he and Biden had agreed “to meet next month.”
Psaki said she had no details on when that might happen but noted that the two leaders could meet virtually.
Foreign travel has been curbed by the pandemic dating back to the Trump administration, though then-President Trump did host foreign leaders even amid the health crisis.
Trump hosted the Irish prime minister for St. Patrick’s Day in 2020 in the early weeks of the pandemic, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House in September for the signing of the Abraham Accords.
Biden has taken a more cautious approach to travel.
He will make his first domestic trip on Tuesday to Wisconsin for a CNN town hall, and the White House has given no indication of when Biden might travel abroad.