Starmer to make first appearance on world stage at NATO summit in US

The prime minister will also head to the White House for his first in-person meeting with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Fresh off the back of his General Election victory, Prime Minister Keir Starmer will travel to Washington to attend a summit of NATO leaders.

The three-day event begins on Tuesday, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the military alliance and marking Starmer’s first appearance on the world stage.

The PM will also head to the White House for his first in-person meeting with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, as pressure on Biden to drop out of the presidential race continues to mount.

Ukraine is set to be one of the topics topping the summit’s agenda.

On Monday, at least three people were killed and dozens were injured at a children’s hospital in Kyiv after Russian missiles struck Ukraine.

The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andrii Yermal, said the attack occurred at a time when many people were in the city’s streets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia targeted five cities, with more than 40 missiles of different types hitting apartment buildings and public infrastructure.

The country’s air force said 30 missiles were intercepted.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the strikes targeted Ukrainian defence plants and military air bases and were successful.

It denied aiming at any civilian facilities and claimed without offering evidence that pictures from Kyiv indicated the damage was caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile.

Since being appointed foreign secretary last week, David Lammy has said UK military, economic, political and diplomatic support for Ukraine will “remain ironclad” under the Labour Government.

New Defence Secretary John Healey has fast-tracked the delivery of a support package first pledged in April under Rishi Sunak’s government.

Other key issues set to be discussed include the challenges posed by an increasingly aggressive China, and the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Starmer spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday about the “ongoing suffering and devastating loss of life” in Gaza, as Israel continue their bombardment.

He told Abbas recognising the state of Palestine as part of a Middle East peace process is an “undeniable right”.

Labour’s election manifesto committed the party to recognising a Palestinian state as part of a process that results in a two-state solution alongside Israel.

The PM has also stressed the need for a ceasefire and a return of the hostages in a conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

The NATO summit comes amid turbulent times for several leaders of countries in the military alliance.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s party is facing political uncertainty, after a snap legislative election saw left-wing parties unite to beat the far right – but without securing a parliamentary majority.

Joe Biden is coming under increasing scrutiny following a shaky performance in a televised debate against Donald Trump in the lead-up to the presidential elections.

He has dismissed calls for him to step down, and called for an end to speculation that he would drop out of the race.

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