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Starmer assures Ukraine of continued UK support during his 1st overseas visit as premier

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published July 10,2024
British Prime Minister Keir Starmer (L) meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Washington, DC, July 10, 2024, on the sidelines of the NATO Summit. (AFP Photo)

Keir Starmer is in Washington for his first overseas visit as British prime minister, attending a NATO summit marking the military alliance's 75th anniversary.

Just days after taking office, Starmer has joined global leaders to address the escalating situation in Ukraine, following recent Russian strikes, including an alleged attack on a children's hospital in Kyiv.

Starmer met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the summit.

"I've just had a very good meeting with President Zelensky, where I made it absolutely clear that as far as the UK is concerned, the change of government makes no difference to the support that we will provide," Starmer told reporters in Washington.

He emphasized the continuity of UK policy, saying: "We'd been united on this when we were in opposition, and it was really important to me to be able to affirm that face-to-face at the meeting."

Accompanied by Defense Secretary John Healey and Foreign Secretary David Lammy, Starmer assured Zelensky of the UK's unwavering stance.

"As you know from the get-go-there's a change of government but no change of approach," he reiterated, denouncing the Russian attack on the Kyiv hospital as "just shocking."

Zelensky expressed gratitude for the UK's steadfast support since the beginning of the war.

"Thank you again that you are with us from the very beginning of the war," Zelensky said.

Starmer will also meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in the White House later.

In elections last Thursday, the Labour Party won the House of Commons by a landslide, capturing 412 of the chamber's 650 seats.

The Conservative Party, which had ruled the country for the last 14 years, suffered a major defeat by losing 250 seats, from 471 to 121, with 23.7% of the vote.