US and EU meet in Brussels to reaffirm relationship

The two sides pledge closer co-operation after ties took a battering under Trump presidency

FILE PHOTO: Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva February 13, 2014.    REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Representatives from Washington and Brussels met in the Belgian capital on Wednesday to reaffirm the strength of the EU-US partnership on foreign policy and security issues.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European External Action Service, met as the Biden administration seeks to reassure European allies after the transatlantic relationship took a battering under former president Donald Trump.

During the meeting, Ms Sherman and Mr Sannino discussed mutual foreign policy concerns such as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as well as the recent violence in Israel and Gaza.

Mr Sannino and Ms Sherman also held the first high-level meeting of the EU-US dialogue on China, in which they acknowledged that relations with China "are multifaceted and comprise elements of co-operation, competition, and systemic rivalry" and "highlighted issues of shared concern".

"They also discussed pursuing constructive engagement with China on issues such as climate change and non-proliferation, and on certain regional issues," the State Department said.

Ms Sherman's trip came before US President Joe Biden's planned visit to Brussels in June.

This week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarked on a tour of the Middle East to shore up a ceasefire that ended 11 days of fighting in Israel and Palestine.