Climate, Ukraine, China in focus as Biden prepares for upcoming foreign trip

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a rally with Democratic nominee for Maryland Governor Wes Moore, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and other Maryland Democrats, at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, U.S., November 7, 2022. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will meet with the leaders of Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia during an upcoming trip to North Africa and Asia where he will show U.S. commitment on issues such as climate change and assert Washington’s pledge to counter China’s rising global influence.

Biden’s wide-ranging trip will include an international climate summit in Egypt and meetings of Asean and the Group of 20 industrialized nations in Cambodia and Indonesia, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.

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It will begin two days after American voters deliver a verdict on Biden’s governance and two years of Democratic control of Washington.

Based on the results of the election, Biden may begin his trip in a politically weakened position. Democrats have been privately preparing to lose control of at least the House of Representatives. A slew of races in the U.S. Senate that could tip power in the 50-50 chamber are considered toss-ups.

The administration officials were not able to say whether Biden would have a separate meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, who is expected to attend the summit, and what their agenda might include. The two governments have been working toward arranging what would be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office in January 2021.

Biden will begin his trip by traveling to Egypt to participate in the COP27 United Nations climate change summit on Friday, where he will talk about America’s efforts to reduce emissions and also hold a bilateral meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the officials said. “Human rights will feature prominently” in discussions with Egyptian leaders, one of the administration officials said.

Biden will then travel to Cambodia from Saturday to Sunday to participate in the annual U.S.-ASEAN summit and the East Asia Summit where he will focus on the Indo-Pacific region and talk about U.S. commitment to a rules-based international order in the South China Sea, they said.