WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis on Oct 29 before attending a two-day summit of G20 leaders in Rome where he hopes to reach agreement on a Global Minimum Tax of 15 per cent, a White House official said.
On the second foreign trip of his presidency, Mr Biden will then attend the UN climate conference known as COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, from Nov 1-2 and announce “key actions” on the conference’s top themes, including goals for fighting climate change and forest and land use, the official said.
Mr Biden’s visit to Italy and Britain for meetings with major world leaders is meant to signal that the United States is re-engaging with international groups after four years of Republican former President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.
But the trip comes amid international frustration over the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, a rift with top ally France over a submarine deal with Australia, and question marks over the US ability to meet Mr Biden’s climate goals as lawmakers within his own Democratic Party haggle over his multitrillion-dollar legislative agenda.
Mr Biden is likely to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron while the two leaders are in Rome.
The American president’s visit with the pope comes as some Roman Catholic bishops in the United States have sought to admonish Mr Biden for his support of abortion rights.
Mr Biden is a Catholic who attends church regularly. His wife, Jill Biden, will also attend the meeting with Pope Francis.