Joe Biden Congratulates UK PM Starmer on Historic Win at Euro 2024

Washington: Joe Biden congratulated Keir Starmer in the Oval Office Wednesday on a historic victory -- England's passage to the Euro 2024 football final, that is, rather than the British premier's recent election win.

The two leaders shared some light-hearted if somewhat stilted moments on Starmer's first trip to the White House since taking office last week.
"I tell you what, it's all because of the prime minister," the US president joked when asked if he had watched England's 2-1 semi-final win over the Netherlands earlier that day.
Labour leader Starmer was inevitably asked if football was "coming home," referring to the England team's long wait for a second tournament crown to follow their 1966 World Cup win in London.
"Looks like it," replied the Arsenal fan, who is attending the NATO summit in Washington days after ousting the Conservative party from its 14-year rule in Britain.
At one point during the summit, video posted on social media by Starmer showed him stopping between meetings to watch a penalty kick.
"We've not lost a game under the Labour government," he said.
The British premier added later that he had watched part of the game with new Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof.
"And you guys are still talking to one another?" Biden asked with a laugh.
The two center-left leaders went on to agree on the importance of the so-called "special relationship" between London and Washington, who are key allies on areas including defense and trade.
But even they couldn't concur on how to refer to "what you call football" and "we call soccer," as Biden put it.
Nor was there any reference to the crisis over the 81-year-old Democrat's reelection bid, in tumult since a faltering debate performance against Republican rival Donald Trump sparked concerns over the president's health.
Facing criticism that he is unable to handle unscripted moments, Biden notably spoke without using the note cards that he usually uses for Oval Office meetings with foreign leaders.
He did not however respond to questions about Hollywood star and Democratic donor George Clooney's call earlier Wednesday for Biden to step aside.
( Source : AP )
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