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Biden talks Ukraine with Sunak, climate with King Charles III on London trip

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Joe Biden at No.10 Downing Street in London on Monday. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
1 of 5 | Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Joe Biden at No.10 Downing Street in London on Monday. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 10 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak continued to bump heads over Ukraine's admission into NATO and delivering cluster bombs to Kyiv in defense against Russia during a meeting Monday.

Biden met with Sunak and King Charles III during a one-day swing through Britain before attending a critical NATO summit in the former Soviet outlet of Lithuania.

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The president met with the prime minister at No. 10 Downing Street for about 40 minutes. Biden had previously stated that he wanted to take Ukraine's admittance into NATO slowly in light of the current invasion by Russia where Sunak has preferred that their memberships be fast-tracked.

Over the weekend, Biden called Ukraine's entry premature.

When asked about the differences after the two met, a spokesperson for Sunak downplayed the differences.

"Certainly, we do want to support Ukraine on the pathway to joining the alliance, the exact mechanisms for that are for discussion with NATO allies."

When asked specifically to address the divisions between the United States and Britain, the spokesperson rejected the notion.

"I have seen that reporting but I don't believe that's accurate," the spokesperson said.

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A spokesman confirmed that Biden and Sunak discussed the United States' decision to give cluster bombs to Ukraine, something Britain has declined to do. The weapons have been banned in more than 100 countries, including Britain, because of their danger to civilians during and after the conflict.

"[It] was a difficult choice for the U.S.," the spokesman said, adding that Britain was bound by the international convention banning the weapons.

Biden wrapped up his scheduled events in Britain with a meeting with King Charles III at Windsor Castle. Biden received a royal salute and listened to the U.S. national anthem performed by the Welsh Guards.

The two were then set to participate in talks on climate financing alongside philanthropists and other financial leaders.

Biden and Sunak will travel separately to Vilnius, Lithuania for the NATO Summit on Tuesday.

Before arriving to meet the prime minister, Biden stopped by the Winfield House, the official residence of the U.S. ambassador to Britain Jane Hartley, who was part of his convoy to Downing Street.

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