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G7 nations to pledge 1 billion COVID vaccine doses for world

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U.S. President Joe Biden, right, talks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during their meeting ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Britain, Thursday June 10, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden, right, talks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during their meeting ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Britain, Thursday June 10, 2021.   -   Copyright  Toby Melville/AP
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The Group of Seven nations are expected to commit to sharing at least one billion coronavirus shots with the world, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

The British leader made the announcement on Thursday, asserting that half of the doses would come from the U.S. and at least 100 million from the U.K.

The PM's pledge came after U.S. President Joe Biden committed to donating 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the global community, with the doses to be distributed through the COVAX alliance.

Johnson and Biden sign pledge to defend 'enduring values'

Johnson and Biden also signed a pledge on Thursday to defend the U.K. and America's "enduring values" 80 years since the Atlantic Charter was inked in 1941.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill signed the charter during World War II to set out their vision for the world after the conflict. It ultimately led to the setting up of NATO and the UN.

The document promised to counter “those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions" and singled out “interference through disinformation”, a charge that has been levelled at Moscow.

It also cited free trade, human rights, a rules-based international order, and stronger global defences against health threats like COVID-19, ahead of the summit in Cornwall, U.K.

Earlier, Biden and Johnson inspected the original documents related to the Atlantic Charter, which included goals of free trade, disarmament, and the right to self-determination of all people.

Johnson noted that the charter laid the foundation for the United Nations and NATO.

“Yeah, I know,” Biden replied.

'A breath of fresh air'

Britain's PM expressed optimism over Biden's leadership, asserting that talks with the US leader came as a "breath of fresh air.

"It's wonderful to listen to the Biden administration and Joe Biden because there's so much that they want to do together with us - on security, on Nato, to climate change," he said. "It's fantastic."

Biden said his meeting with Johnson was productive as he said the two men agreed on the importance of addressing "key challenges" including global health, climate change and cyber security.

He also said the two world leaders "affirmed the special relationship" between the US and UK.

"That is not said lightly," he said, asserting that the pair renewed "the special relationship between our people" along with "our commitment to defending the enduring democratic values that both our nations share".

'Common ground' on Northern Ireland

Of course, Brexit and the future of Northern Ireland hung over Thursday's meeting, with Biden having warned that Ireland's 1998 Good Friday peace accord must not be put at risk.

Johnson appeared to downplay any friction on the matter, asserting said that protecting the Northern Ireland peace agreement was "absolutely common ground" among the UK, US and European Union.