Biden welcomes Starmer's desire for closer EU ties

US President Joe Biden has told Britain's new Prime Minister Keir Starmer that he welcomes his desire for closer ties with European counterparts, according to a UK government statement.

Starmer met Biden in the White House's Oval Office on Wednesday where the two men discussed UK and US ties, the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, and England's football win in the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

"The president welcomed the prime minister's recent comments on establishing closer relationships with our European counterparts, as well as the UK's commitment to AUKUS," the British government said, referring to the security pact between Britain, the US and Australia.

"They reflected that at a time when we face growing challenges across the world, we are at our strongest when we unite and work together."

Starmer was in Washington for the NATO summit, where he also met European leaders including Germany's Olaf Scholz.

Starmer has said he wants Britain to reset relations with the European Union to improve cooperation in areas such as security and trade, seeking to dampen the rancour that stemmed from Britain's 2016 referendum to leave the bloc.

However, he has ruled out any move to rejoin the European Union's single market or customs union.

The two leaders also agreed they must do whatever it takes to support Ukraine in its war with Russia, and discussed their joint desire for a ceasefire in Gaza to get hostages out, aid in and make progress towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.