Europa Building, European Council
Brussels, Belgium

12:13 P.M. CEST

PRESIDENT MICHEL:  Well, Mr. President, dear Joe, we are so pleased to welcome you in Brussels.  You are back in Brussels, and America is back on the global scene.  It’s great news.  It’s great news for our Alliance.  It’s also great news for the world.  And we are really delighted to work with you in order to tackle, together, some important global challenges.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, I think we have a great opportunity to work both with the EU, as well as NATO.  And we’re — we’re feeling very good about it.  We found the reception to be good, and I — and America is back.  

We are — (inaudible) we’ve never fully left, but we are reasserting the fact that it’s overwhelmingly in the interest of the United States of America to have a great relationship with NATO and with the EU.  I have a very different view than my predecessor did.  

So, I’m looking forward to talking with you all about what we’re about to do, and — and I’m anxious to begin.

PRESIDENT VON DER LEYEN:  And a very warm welcome for my part, too.  What a pleasure to have you here.  What an honor to have you here.  

So, the fact that you are coming so early in your mandate, I think, underlines your personal attachment to Europe, and we really appreciate that.

And indeed, the last four years have not been easy.  The world has dramatically changed.  Europe has changed.  But we wanted to reassure you: We are friends and allies and we are very much looking forward to working together.  (Inaudible.) 

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, what a great opportunity.  (Inaudible.)  Thank you.

Q    Mr. President, did you agree on a Turkish presence in Afghanistan?

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Did I agree on a — what?

Q    Turkish presence in Afghanistan, after you met with Mr. Erdoğan yesterday. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Did I agree on a Turkish —

Q    Did you discuss or agree on any kind of Turkish presence in Afghanistan after your withdrawal?

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Oh, we had — we had long discussions, and I feel very good about our meeting.  And I’ll let the — I’ll let the Turks tell you about it.

Q    Mr. President, do you have an agreement on Airbus and Boeing?

(The President crosses his fingers.)

Q    Mr. President, what do you like about EU the most?

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  I like the presidents.  (Laughter.) 

12:16 P.M. CEST

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