British Foreign Secretary Meets Zelensky in 1st Overseas Visit as Top UK Diplomat

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, speaks with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron on the occasion of their meeting, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, speaks with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron on the occasion of their meeting, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
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British Foreign Secretary Meets Zelensky in 1st Overseas Visit as Top UK Diplomat

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, speaks with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron on the occasion of their meeting, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, speaks with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron on the occasion of their meeting, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his first overseas trip in his new job, pledging that the UK would continue providing military support for Ukraine's war effort until it is victorious in its war with Russia.

Cameron, a former prime minister who returned to government in a surprise appointment Monday in a Cabinet shuffle, said he wanted to make Kyiv his first diplomatic destination.

“I admire the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people,” he told Zelensky, according to a video posted Thursday by the president.

According to The Associated Press, Cameron said the UK would continue to provide moral and diplomatic support “but above all, the military support that you need not just this year and next year but however long it takes.”

Zelensky, who said he wanted to keep the world's focus on Ukraine's fight as attention has turned to the Middle East and Israel's war against Hamas, thanked Cameron for the visit Wednesday.

“A good meeting,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram. “Weapons for the front, strengthening of air defense, protection of our people and critical infrastructure. I am grateful to the UK for its support!”

The UK has been one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine in defending itself from Russia.

As of last month, the UK said it was second to the US in providing military funds to Ukraine, giving 4.6 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) worth of assistance and training 30,000 Ukrainian troops on British soil.

“Russia thinks it can wait this war out, and that the West will eventually turn its attention elsewhere," Cameron said in a statement Thursday. “This could not be further from the truth. In my first discussions with President Zelensky in my new role, I made clear that the UK and our partners will support Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes for them to achieve victory.”



Biden Battles COVID and Democrats as Crisis Grows

President Joe Biden walks down the steps of Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Joe Biden walks down the steps of Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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Biden Battles COVID and Democrats as Crisis Grows

President Joe Biden walks down the steps of Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Joe Biden walks down the steps of Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Joe Biden holed up at his beach house Thursday, battling both a bout of COVID and calls by senior allies for him to abandon his 2024 reelection bid.

While rival Donald Trump prepared for his star turn at the Republican National Convention, the 81-year-old US president found himself in both personal and political isolation.

The top Democrats in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, both reportedly met with Biden in recent days to warn that his candidacy threatens his party's prospects in November's election.

Influential former House speaker Nancy Pelosi added to his woes by privately telling Biden he cannot win and could harm Democrats' chances of recapturing the lower chamber, CNN reported.

Several party figures were meanwhile quoted anonymously by the Axios news outlet as saying that they believed the pressure would persuade Biden to drop out as soon as this weekend.

Biden has insisted he is not backing down, adamant that he is the candidate who beat Trump before and will do it again this year. Pressed about reports that Biden might be softening to the idea of leaving the race, his deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said Thursday: “He is not wavering on anything.”

"He's staying in the race," Fulks told a press conference on the sidelines of the Republican convention in Milwaukee.

"Our campaign is not working through any scenarios where President Biden is not the top of the ticket -- he is and will be the Democratic nominee."

California Senator Alex Padilla said Biden was "not skipping a beat."

"I know having spoken to him personally he's committed to the campaign," he added.

Using mountains of data showing Biden’s standing could wipe out the ranks of Democrats in Congress, frank conversations in public and private, and now, the president’s own time off the campaign trail after testing positive for COVID-19, many Democrats see an opportunity to encourage a reassessment.

Biden told reporters on Wednesday that he was "doing well."

His COVID diagnosis however came at the worst possible time for his campaign, forcing him to cut short a trip to Las Vegas and isolate at his holiday home in Rehoboth, Delaware.

The split-screen with Trump could not have been more stark, with Trump set to formally accept the Republican nomination in Milwaukee.

US networks showed images of frail looking Biden gingerly descending the steps of Air Force One in Delaware, in a week when Trump is lauded by supporters each night at a packed party convention.

Former president Trump, who at 78 is just three years younger than Biden, is riding a wave of support from his party after surviving an assassination attempt on Saturday that left him with a bandaged ear.

The United States could now be approaching the climax of an extraordinary three weeks in politics, which started when Biden gave a disastrous performance during a televised debate with Trump.

Biden blamed jet lag and a cold, but the fact that America's commander-in-chief has now fallen ill for a second time just as fears grow about his fitness for the job has merely intensified the panic in Democratic ranks.