President Joe Biden arrived at La Nuvola, ‘the cloud,’ in Rome on Saturday to kick off two days of meetings with G20 leaders – their first in-person gathering in two years.
On Saturday for the U.S. president, the global minimum tax and Iran will be front-and-center.
Biden was greeted by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, representing the host country.
He then mingled with other G20 leaders as they posed for the customary ‘family photo.’
Biden was spotted chatting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – who he’s expected to hold a bilateral meeting with once he moves on to Scotland on Monday for the COP26 climate summit – and French President Emmanuel Macron, who he spent time with Friday.
The president was also seen taking a selfie with healthcare workers.
The ‘overarching theme’ of the day, said a senior administration official Friday night, is ‘The United States is steadfastly committed to our allies and partners and to face-to-face diplomacy at the highest levels.’
President Joe Biden (left) shakes the hand of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (right) as the G20 leaders meet for the first time in-person in two years. Standing in the middle is Democratic Republic of Congo’s President and African Union Chair Felix Tshisekedi
President Joe Biden poses for a picture as he arrives for the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome on Saturday
President Joe Biden takes a selfie with health workers as he arrives Saturday at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome
President Joe Biden (left) greets French President Emmanuel Macron (right) as the G20 leaders take a so-called ‘family photo.’ The two leaders met Friday in Rome in advance of the summit
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (center) and President Joe Biden (right) are pictured as they arrive Saturday at the G20 in Rome
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi (left) greets President Joe Biden (right) at the G20 summit on Saturday
President Joe Biden (left) speaks with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) Saturday at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome
President Joe Biden arrives at the La Nuvola, ‘the cloud,’ in Rome on Saturday
President Joe Biden (right) stands alongside Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (left)
ALL BIDEN HIMSELF: President Joe Biden poses with the G20 leaders, taking a spot along the sidelines
While Biden is attending in person, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are no-shows, though Xi will participate virtually.
Expected to be front-and-center in the first session: the global minimum tax.
‘In this session, G20 leaders will support the establishment of the historic global minimum tax to ensure that giant corporations pay their fair share no matter where they’re located,’ said a senior administration official Friday night.
‘The deal works because it removes the incentives for the offshoring of American jobs, it’s going to help small businesses compete on a level playing field, and it’s going to give us more resources to invest in our people at home,’ the official continued. ‘It’s a game changer for American workers, taxpayers, and businesses. And in our judgment, this is more than just a tax deal; it’s a reshaping of the rules of the global economy.’
Reporters will be kept out of the room for Biden’s afternoon meetings.
He’ll attend an event in support of women-owned businesses.
More pressing, however, will be his meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Iran.
Johnson, Macron and Merkel make up the E3 – the European leaders who signed onto the Iran nuclear deal.
Biden is seeking a ‘united’ policy on Iran, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday, when he previewed the trip on board Air Force One.
It will mark the first time the four leaders have sat together in person to discuss this particular issue, a White House official said.
‘It’s an opportunity to closely coordinate with our key European partners, at the leader level, on a joint negotiating position as we work towards a resumption of negotiations,’ Sullivan said.
On Friday night, a senior administration said there would be no ‘deliverable’ to come from the get-together.
‘They need to have private space to have a no BS conversation abour where we’re at and where we need to go,’ the official said. ‘A lot of times, you have … the meeting is fake, and then you have some deliverables. This is more like this is going to be a serious opportunity to check signals as we head into a really vital period on this issue.’
Former President Donald Trump nixed the U.S.’s participation in the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, angering European allies.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – JCPOA – had seen Iran scale back its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sancations against its economy.
It will also be discussed during Saturday afternoon’s meeting.
‘Those will be the two main elements of the meeting,’ Sullivan said. ‘Fundamentally centering around a shared strategy and solidarity and unity in our approach, which of course will be a study in contrast with the previous administration since Iran was one of the areas of most profound divergence between the previous administration and the Europeans.’
Sullivan conceded he didn’t know if Iran was ready to return to the negotiating table.
‘It’s not entirely clear to me yet whether the Iranians are prepared to return to talks,’ he said. ‘We have heard positive signals that they are, but I think we have to wait and see when and whether they actually show up at the negotiating table. And we’re prepared to negotiate in good faith for a return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA. We hope they are as well.’
After that meeting, the president and First Lady Jill Biden will attend a closed-door dinner with the other G20 leaders and their spouses.