Biden, Macron huddle on sidelines of G7 summit

Biden, Macron huddle on sidelines of G7 summit
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President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE had an informal meeting with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrench parliament approves COVID-19 passes for restaurants, domestic travel WhatsApp chief: US allies' national security officials targeted with NSO malware US athletes chant 'Dr. Biden' as first lady cheers swimmers MORE during the first day of a Group of Seven (G-7) summit in the United Kingdom on Friday, the first substantial one-on-one interaction between the two leaders since Biden took office.

“The Leaders discussed a range of regional and bilateral issues, including COVID-19 and counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel, and affirmed the importance of the U.S.-France partnership and the Transatlantic alliance,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiWhy in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch MORE said in a statement. 

Biden and Macron are expected to have a more formal bilateral meeting on Saturday, the second day of the three-day summit in Cornwall, U.K. Biden has already met one-on-one with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall and is expected to have other private meetings with leaders.

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Most of the events have happened behind closed doors. After the first session of the summit on Friday afternoon, Biden and other G-7 leaders attended a reception and dinner with Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family.

The White House described the first day of discussions as “positive and productive.” G-7 leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues including the coronavirus, climate change and economic cooperation. 

The leaders are committing a donation of 1 billion coronavirus vaccines to the global supply to defeat the pandemic. The Biden administration says that the U.S. alone will purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to distribute to poorer countries over the next year.

G-7 leaders are also expected to endorse Biden's proposal for a global minimum tax of 15 percent or more.

The trip is Biden’s first abroad since his inauguration in January. The president says his main goal with the meetings is to shore up U.S. alliances and demonstrate the strength of the relationship with Europe. 

After the G-7 summit, Biden will travel to Brussels to attend a NATO summit and U.S.-European Union summit and from there will meet with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDemocrats find a tax Republicans can support Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections MORE in Geneva.