Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Foreign Secretary visits USA and Canada to galvanise global action on Ukraine for 2023 [January 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 17 January 2023.

  • Foreign Secretary begins a visit to Washington DC and Toronto to deepen diplomatic, trade and security ties and to keep up the fight against Putin’s illegal invasion
  • James Cleverly to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and other senior government figures.
  • The Foreign Secretary will discuss coordinated efforts to help Ukraine prevail over Russian aggression, as well as deepening our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and on intelligence, security and humanitarian issues.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly begins his first bilateral visit in post to North America today (Tuesday 17 January) to deepen diplomatic, trade, intelligence and security ties and to stand against Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

James Cleverly will hold an intensive round of diplomatic talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly in Toronto, to encourage international cooperation and support for Ukraine as we approach the second year of the conflict.

The Foreign Secretary will stress to the two allies that now is the time to go further and faster in giving Ukraine the tools to win the war. He will underline that, with the right equipment, the Ukrainian people will prevail. This is part of the Prime Minister’s commitment to accelerate the UK’s diplomatic and military support in the coming weeks in a bid to push Russia further back and secure a lasting peace.

The UK has already committed to match or exceed funding for military aid to Ukraine in 2023. Last year the UK provided £2.3bn in military support that has already helped turn the tide in the war and secure successive Ukrainian battlefield victories.

The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said:

The UK, US and Canada always have each other’s backs when it counts, protecting the rules-based order for nearly eighty years.

Today we stand united against Putin’s illegal war, and we will continue to use our uniquely strong defence and security ties to ensure that, in the end, the Ukrainian people will win.

The Foreign Secretary will also raise Iran with counterparts, after the UK temporarily recalled its Ambassador to Iran and sanctioned Iran’s Prosecutor General, following the execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari.

During his visit to the US, the Foreign Secretary will set out the UK’s foreign policy priorities at a live event at the Centre for Strategic & International Studies in Washington DC on Tuesday. On Wednesday he will lay a wreath at the US Army Arlington National Cemetery.

In Canada on Wednesday, the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Joly will discuss closer coordination on sanctions, and he will welcome Canada’s leadership in standing up against the arbitrary detention of foreign nationals for diplomatic ends.

He will also discuss the UK’s ongoing efforts to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and progress towards a bilateral free trade agreement.

Following bilateral talks, the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Joly will meet members of the Ukrainian diaspora. In Toronto he will also meet representatives of major Canadian pension funds, as key investors into the UK.

The extensive visit programme reflects the immense value the UK places on its relationships with the US and Canada, and underlines the UK’s role as a steadfast ally, defence partner, and a great place to do business.