Day 2 of the 2021 G7 summit

By Eliza Mackintosh, Peter Wilkinson, Melissa Macaya and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 5:20 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021
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12:59 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden is meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle tomorrow. Here's what to expect at the event.  

From CNN's Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Queen Elizabeth II attends a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in England on June 12.
Queen Elizabeth II attends a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in England on June 12. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The second day of the G7 summit is still underway, but attention is starting to turn to US President Joe Biden's meeting with the Queen tomorrow before he departs for Brussels for the NATO summit.

Biden is in for quite a treat when he and his wife, "Jill from Philly," stop by Windsor Castle Sunday.

To welcome the 46th President, Elizabeth is treating him to an honor guard formed of the Grenadier Guards in the castle's famous quad, Buckingham Palace has announced. The guards — one of the British Army's longest-serving units — will give a Royal Salute, and the US National Anthem will be played.

The Queen has hosted four other presidents at Windsor:

  • Trump in 2018
  • Obama in 2016
  • George W. Bush in 2008
  • Reagan back in 1982

The President will then inspect the troops before rejoining the Queen and first lady to watch the military march-past. Afterward, the group will head into the castle for tea. During our chat with Prince Edward, he discussed the opportunity Biden has in meeting his mother and how others have reacted to spending time with her.

"When you meet somebody who's had that level of personal experience and knowledge, it's, I mean, sometimes, it's funny and can slightly over-awe some people," the 57-year-old mused. "And I think most people can leave wishing that they'd had a little bit longer. That's usually the response — just so would've liked to have had a little bit longer, because that was fascinating."

Ahead of the weekend's big meeting, the royals undertook something of a charm offensive at the G7 in Cornwall. The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, as well as William and Catherine, descended upon the summit for a reception at the world-famous Eden Project, a striking collection of biomes, one of which is home to the largest indoor rainforest on Earth.

Read more about tomorrow's event.

11:19 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Boris Johnson and UN chief agree on need for global action on climate change and pandemic preparedness 

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed on the need for “joined-up global action on issues like pandemic preparedness and climate change,” at a meeting between the two on Saturday at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England. 

According to a Downing Street spokesperson: Johnson gave his support to Secretary Guterres’ “vision for a more integrated UN.”

Here are some more details from the meeting:

“He also welcomed the World Health Assembly’s decision to discuss a treaty on pandemic preparedness later this year. The Prime Minister and Secretary General agreed on the need for universal support from the G7 to take this forward.  
 “The leaders discussed plans for the UK-hosted COP26 Summit later this year. They agreed on the need for countries to step up and make ambitious commitments to cut carbon emissions and phase out the use of coal.  
“They discussed a number of international issues including the situations in Yemen, Syria and Libya, the Cyprus peace process, the need for a return to democracy in Myanmar and Afghanistan.”  
1:49 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden's comfort among world leaders at G7 summit presents stark contrast

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, Phil Mattingly and Kaitlan Collins in in Falmouth, England 

French President Emmanuel Macron walks with US President Joe Biden in Carbis Bay, England, on June 11.
French President Emmanuel Macron walks with US President Joe Biden in Carbis Bay, England, on June 11. Patrick Semansky/AFP/Pool/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden appeared relaxed when he arrived to the G7 summit alongside his wife on Friday. Under light drizzle, Jill Biden likened the meet-and-greet to a wedding.

Later, as the leaders emerged in a pack from the bayside resort where the summit is being held, the group was smiling broadly alongside Biden as they made their way to have their traditional "family photo" taken before the first session.

Making his way back indoors, Biden walked arm-in-arm with French President Emmanuel Macron — who hosted the last in-person G7 meeting on the Atlantic coast in 2019, which devolved partly into an argument led by former US President Donald Trump over whether to allow Russia to rejoin the group.

Macron and Biden ended up walking so slowly in each other's arms that other leaders, including Canada's Justin Trudeau, had to circle around them to get inside.

As the afternoon wore on, Biden held a "pull-aside" meeting with Macron, which onlookers described as intense but collegial. They met more formally on Saturday.

Macron's 2019 summit in Biarritz was the third G7 that Trump attended, and the third to demonstrate serious strain with other world leaders.

At his first G7 summit, held cliffside in Sicily, his fellow leaders all nudged Trump to remain in the Paris climate accord. Aides said he felt ganged up on and announced a US withdrawal from the pact a few months later.

Signs the 45th President wasn't exactly fitting in were rampant. As other leaders strolled through the summit venue to a photo-op, Trump rode separately in a golf cart.

The next year, the G7 summit hosted by Trudeau in the northern woods of Quebec ended in disarray after Trump, having left early, announced from his departing flight he was withdrawing his signature from the concluding statement.

He told reporters before he left that his relations with G7 leaders were "10 out of 10," and scoffed at suggestions he was more looking forward to his next engagement, with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

But the images of that summit of a scowling Trump, arms crossed, being pressed by leaders including Merkel over the summit communiqué became the iconic images of an isolated US president.

Read the full story below:

11:22 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden and France's Macron hold bilateral meeting on sidelines of G7 summit

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Lindsay Isaac

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden hold a meeting in Carbis Bay, England, on June 12.
French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden hold a meeting in Carbis Bay, England, on June 12. Pool

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron held their first formal in-person meeting beside the sea on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England.

"We have some things we have to talk about a bit later; things are going, I think, well, and we're — as we say back in the United States — we are on the same page. Thank you," Biden told reporters during their bilateral meeting.

Macron said cooperation is key to battle the pandemic and climate change. The French president noted he appreciates having the US as part of the “club” with other G7 countries, following a more fraught relationship with the US under former President Donald Trump. 

"What we need is cooperation, and I think it is great to have the US President part of the club and very willing to cooperate, and I think that what you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership. We really appreciate that," the French president told reporters.

Biden reiterated that the US "is back" and that he believes a lot can be done on the world stage. The US President also noted his country feels "very strongly about the cohesion" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and expressed that the European Union is “incredibly strong and vibrant.”

Asked if allies think America is back, Biden looked at Macron and said, “Ask him,” to which Macron replied in the affirmative: “Definitely.”

The US and French leaders held a pull-aside during Friday's summit session, but today's bilateral was their first formal one-on-one in-person meeting.  

“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,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement about yesterday's pull-aside.

Biden and Macron's meeting comes after CNN reported that tensions have emerged at the summit with regards to China. While officials at the summit see infrastructure as an area of agreement during the gathering, leaders aired serious differences over how best to approach China during a session on Saturday, according to a senior administration official.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed reporting to this post.

Watch the moment here:

9:31 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Divisions on China emerge among world leaders in tense G7 meeting

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England 

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a meeting in Beijing on May 28.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a meeting in Beijing on May 28. Ju Peng/Xinhua/Getty Images

World leaders aired serious differences over how best to approach China during a session of the G7 summit in Cornwall on Saturday, according to a senior Biden administration official.

The disagreements, aired during a session that at one point became so sensitive that all internet was shut off to the room, pitted European nations against the United States, Britain and Canada, who urged stronger action against China for its authoritarian practices, including forced labor practices in western Xinjiang province.

Officials described the China issue as one of the most challenging elements of the G7 gathering.

“There was some interesting discussion, and a little bit of differentiation of opinion on, not whether this threat is there but on how strong, from an action perspective, I think different G7 members are willing to take things,” the official said.

At one point, US President Joe Biden made a forceful call to other leaders about vocally calling out China’s anti-democratic practices, officials said, emphasizing the need to take action.

The official said Biden was joined by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron in pushing for tougher action on China. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and leaders from the European Union sought to emphasize areas of cooperation with China.

Even within those groupings, there was a spectrum of views on the matter, officials said.

Where officials did agree was on establishing an infrastructure initiative to compete with China’s Belt and Road program. 

Still, though the leaders disagreed, the session was marked by new respect among the leaders after four years of tension under former US President Donald Trump.

"These leaders really seem to like each other and respect each other, and work through where that sweet spot might be,” the senior administration official said, describing real effort at finding consensus on tricky issues, including China.

Some more context: The G7 summit formally began on Friday evening with discussion of vaccines and later a family photo. Officials said there was a sense of new unity among the group after four years of strain under Trump, marked by embraces and warm looks between the leaders. Saturday’s session delved deeper into the differences between nations than the Friday talks.

1:50 p.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Boris Johnson tells CNN he believes Biden will bring "tough messages" to summit with Putin

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told CNN he “wholly approves” of US President Joe Biden bringing “tough messages” to a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Asked by CNN’s Clarissa Ward whether he agrees with Biden’s assessment of Putin being a "killer," Johnson said he “certainly” thinks “President Putin has done things that are unconscionable.” 

Johnson said he is “fairly certain that Putin authorized the poisonings in Salisbury that led to the death of an innocent and a member of the British public and the attempted poisoning of the Skripals.”  

Johnson pointed to the case of jailed and poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who he says is “in prison on trumped-up charges” and is “effectively being tortured,” an example of what happens to Putin’s enemies.  

He also said there can’t be a normalization in relations between the US and Russia until Moscow “changes its behavior.”

More on the Biden-Putin summit: The US and Russian leaders are currently not expected to hold a joint press conference following their high-stakes summit in Geneva, Switzerland Wednesday, two US officials familiar with the matter said.

The final plans are still being formulated and could change. But officials putting together the day's events said that as of Friday, no joint press conference was expected. On Saturday, the White House confirmed Biden would not join Putin after the summit for a press conference and instead the US President will hold a solo presser. As for the nature of the meeting, a White House official said they expect it to "be candid and straightforward."

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins contributed reporting to this post.

8:09 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Boris Johnson calls for "compromise on all sides" over Northern Ireland Protocol

From Eliza Mackintosh in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, on June 12.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, on June 12. Peter Nicholls/WPA Pool/Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G7 on Saturday morning, as post-Brexit tensions between Britain and the European Union threaten to overshadow the summit.

Johnson also met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel at the Carbis Bay resort, where G7 leaders have gathered for the first major in-person summit since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Britain and the bloc have been locked in heated discussions over Northern Ireland -- the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with the EU.

The EU is furious at Britain's delays to imposing new checks on some goods coming into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, while Johnson has said the protocol is putting an undue burden on businesses and having a "damaging impact" on the people of Northern Ireland. The EU has launched legal action against the UK over its unilateral attempts to extend the Brexit grace period on food imports to Northern Ireland.

What is the "Northern Ireland Protocol"? The protocol, which forms part of the UK-EU Brexit deal, chiefly seeks to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and EU member state. It does so by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU's customs area and single market for goods. The arrangement has created a de facto sea border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which has enraged unionists in Northern Ireland and in Britain.

The growing feud between Britain and the EU has also drawn the attention of US President Joe Biden, concerned that it risks inflaming tensions on the island of Ireland and poses a threat to Northern Ireland's peace deal, which was brokered by the US in 1998.

Downing Street said on Saturday that EU leaders would continue discussions to seek a resolution to issues over the Northern Ireland Protocol, and that Johnson had called for "compromise on all sides."

Following Johnson's talks with EU leaders, a Downing Street spokesperson said: "He made clear his desire for pragmatism and compromise on all sides but underlined that protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimensions was paramount.”

Reacting on Twitter, Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU wants the “best possible relations with the UK," but urged it to “implement what we agreed on.”

9:37 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden will hold solo press conference after Putin meeting, White House says

From Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address in Moscow on April 21.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address in Moscow on April 21. Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden will hold a solo press conference following his meeting Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, the White House confirmed Saturday.

CNN first reported on Friday that a joint press conference wasn't currently expected, but that officials were still negotiating details of the summit with their Russian counterparts.

"While we are still finalizing the format for the meeting with President Putin and his delegation, we can confirm a few details, including the plan for both a working session and a smaller session, as well as a solo press conference by President Biden following the meeting," a White House official said.

"We expect this meeting to be candid and straightforward and a solo press conference is the appropriate format to clearly communicate with the free press the topics that were raised in the meeting—both in terms of areas where we may agree and in areas where we have significant concerns," the official went on.

It still was not immediately clear whether Biden and Putin will meet one-on-one without notetakers, as then-US President Donald Trump did when he met Putin in Helsinki.

8:19 a.m. ET, June 12, 2021

Biden's preaching the benefits of democracy in Europe, but new concerns arise back home

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England 

President Joe Biden's attempts to talk up democracy in Europe this week are facing headwinds from back home, where revelations about the Justice Department's attempts to obtain Democrats' data have raised new concerns about the state of American politics.

Throughout his time here, Biden is making the case to American allies that democracy must prevail over a rising tide of authoritarianism. His argument has been that democracies are better at providing for their people and the world.

He has openly acknowledged that democracies are often messy. But he said this week that the world had reached an "inflection point" where the competition between democracy and autocracy is coming to a head.

Yet as challenges back home bubble up, he is finding it harder to point to his country's own recent history, including the lingering remnants of President Donald Trump's tenure.

As he was preparing to attend his first G7 meeting on Friday, reports emerged from Washington that prosecutors in Trump's Justice Department, beginning in February 2018, subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of House Intelligence Committee Democrats, their staff and family members, including at least one minor, as part of a leak investigation. The subpoena included a gag order, which was renewed three times before it expired this year and Apple notified the customers in May.

The development immediately drew accusations the Trump administration was abusing its power in a decidedly undemocratic fashion. The attempts by the Justice Department to secretly gather information about Trump's political rivals came after revelations it took similar steps to obtain information from reporters at outlets Trump frequently denigrated.

It was the kind of step American officials often decry in the authoritarian regimes Biden is hoping to minimize in his European tour this week. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who's set to meet with the President next week and is a fan of using whataboutism in order to deflect criticism of his regime, no doubt read the reports with interest.

Read the full story here: