Biden was holding cue cards when he met British leader Rishi Sunak with conversation topics

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Joe Biden was forced to rely on cue cards and topic reminders to hold a conversation with British leader Rishi Sunak in London yesterday, a new image has revealed.

Biden touched down in London on Monday for a meeting with the British Prime Minister ahead of the NATO summit in Lithuania today in an attempt to quash his ‘anti-British’ reputation.

In talks in the Downing Street garden yesterday on the eve of the crunch NATO summit, the president told the PM he could not be meeting a ‘closer friend and greater ally’. 

But one sharp photographer noticed Biden clutching a cue card, and managed to snap a picture of what was inscribed.

The word ‘NATO’ was written in large print and underscored, even though both world leaders were headed to Vilnius mere hours later. 

‘F-16’ also stood out, suggesting Biden was prepared to discuss whether NATO could offer the fighter jets to Ukraine’s air force – a point of debate for months.

Other mentions included ‘Turkey’ – another NATO country who until late last night had resisted Sweden’s accession to the alliance – ‘Atlantic Declaration’, in reference to the new US-UK economic agreement announced last month, and AI.

The President’s reliance on such simple cue cards to steer the conversation highlighted the astounding 37-year age gap between the two world leaders, and was seen as yet another indication of Biden’s seemingly declining mental awareness.

Joe Biden (left) was forced to rely on cue cards and topic reminders to hold a conversation with British leader Rishi Sunak (right) in London yesterday

Joe Biden (left) was forced to rely on cue cards and topic reminders to hold a conversation with British leader Rishi Sunak (right) in London yesterday 

Biden's cue card, with a NATO headline underscored, is seen in this image snapped by a sharp photographer

Biden’s cue card, with a NATO headline underscored, is seen in this image snapped by a sharp photographer

The talks came as the president faced mounting controversy in the United States for his plans to send controversial cluster munitions to Ukraine and after cocaine was discovered in the White House.

‘We’ve got a lot to talk about. I think we’re doing well. We’re moving along in a way that’s positive. But our relationship is rock solid,’ he said while seated with Sunak and drinking out of 10 Downing Street mugs.

But Biden couldn’t resist letting it be known how much time he has spent with Sunak recently, after a trip to Northern Ireland and Ireland where he was accused of snubs and anti-British jibes.

‘It’s good to be back,’ he said, joking, ‘We’ve only been meeting once a month.’

The British flag was clearly visible on the US president’s ‘Beast’ as it pulled into the famous street  – in stark contrast to its absence when he visited Northern Ireland earlier this year. Biden and Sunak greeted each other with a warm handshake on the steps before starting their discussions. 

But frustration is mounting that although it will be their fifth meeting in as many months, Biden is largely ignoring the UK’s views.

More flashpoints have emerged over recent days, with Biden pouring cold water on the idea of Ukraine joining Nato anytime soon. 

Biden did his best to dispense with any sign of rupture in US-British relations as the White House tried to tamp down the significance of him snubbing King Charles's coronation

Biden did his best to dispense with any sign of rupture in US-British relations as the White House tried to tamp down the significance of him snubbing King Charles’s coronation

Joe Biden walked up to the steps of the famous building and was greeted with a warm handshake by Rishi Sunak

Joe Biden walked up to the steps of the famous building and was greeted with a warm handshake by Rishi Sunak 

He has also put Sunak in an awkward position by declaring the US will supply Kyiv with cluster bombs – weapons the UK is committed to shunning.  

And the pair could have tricky exchanges over the next head of Nato, after Biden seemingly blocked the ambitions of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and backed the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen for the top job. 

British Conservative MP David Jones told DailyMail.com engagement was useless if there was no ‘positive response’. ‘The PM should remind him which country is America’s strongest ally,’ he added. 

As the leaders sat down on rattan furniture in the Downing Street garden, Biden told Sunak he ‘couldn’t be meeting with a closer friend and greater ally’. 

‘Our relationship is rock solid,’ he said.

Sunak said the pair would consider ‘how do we strengthen our co-operation, joint economic security to the benefit of our citizens’.

He added: ‘We stand as two of the firmest allies in that alliance and I know we’ll want to do everything we can to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.’

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had touted the repeated contacts with Sunak aboard Air Force One en route to London – with a rare slip-up where he brought up the touchy subject of the coronation of Charles, which Biden skipped. He dispatched first lady Jill Biden instead.

‘He’ll also have the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Sunak at Number 10. This actually will be his first time at Number 10 as president. He, of course, has been to the UK twice before — once for the G7 in Carbis Bay and once for the COP in Glasgow. And then, of course, a third time he was here for the — the coronation — or, sorry, for the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,’ he said.

Biden looked up at the sky as he left 10 Downing Street following talks with Sunak

Biden looked up at the sky as he left 10 Downing Street following talks with Sunak 

The Union Jack was clearly visible on the US president's 'Beast' as it pulled into Downing Street - in stark contrast to its absence when he visited Northern Ireland earlier this year

The Union Jack was clearly visible on the US president’s ‘Beast’ as it pulled into Downing Street – in stark contrast to its absence when he visited Northern Ireland earlier this year

Biden is said to be pushing for the current European Commission president to take charge of the military alliance.

But British MPs have complained that he is ‘being a d***’, after apparently being angered by Britain failing to get his approval to train Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter jets. 

Conservatives have warned that Ms von der Leyen was the ‘worst ever’ German defence minister before becoming commission president. 

On her watch Berlin’s troops notoriously trained with broomsticks on NATO exercises because they did not have enough rifles. 

Biden told CNN in an interview broadcast as he set off on his journey that Ukraine was not ‘ready for membership’ in NATO.

‘I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,’ he said.

He noted that NATO members are committed every inch of each other’s territory, while war is raging inside Ukraine.

‘If the war is going on, then we’re all in war,’ he said.

His tone appeared far more downbeat than the UK, which has urged a positive message on the prospects for Ukraine joining NATO.

Tory former leader Iain Duncan Smith told the Telegraph: ‘In these circumstances with Ukraine facing literally a life-and-death struggle with Russia, it would be better to give them some positive sense that membership will become a reality at some point rather than emphasising the negative that they are not ready.’ 

Biden said he took the ‘very difficult decision’ to supply cluster bombs because Kyiv’s forces are running out of ammunition in their fightback against the Russian invasion.

But the PM spoke out to underline that the UK is a signatory to a convention which prohibits the production or use of the weapons, which scatter large numbers of tiny explosives from a rocket or artillery shell.

Treasury minister Victoria Atkins insisted in an interview on Sky News prior to Biden’s visit: ‘We’re very pleased that President Biden is coming this week. It’s going to be the fifth time that the Prime Minister [and] the President have met in the last five months. And so the relationship is the special relationship is still very much strong and secure.’

But she went on: ‘In relation to cluster bombs, we, the UK, have signed the convention that prohibits their use and discourages their use. And of course we stick by that convention and we are trying to do what we can to support Ukraine.’

The Beast featured the Stars and Stripes and the presidential standard on its bonnet - but no Union Jack - on Biden's brief visit to Northern Ireland in April

The Beast featured the Stars and Stripes and the presidential standard on its bonnet – but no Union Jack – on Biden’s brief visit to Northern Ireland in April

After Biden - who often boasts about his Irish heritage - moved on to the Republic the country's flag was proudly on display

After Biden – who often boasts about his Irish heritage – moved on to the Republic the country’s flag was proudly on display

Former National Security Adviser Lord Ricketts said other western nations were also ‘very uncomfortable’ with the US’s stance on cluster bombs.

He told Sky News: ‘We’ve, all of us, apart from the Americans, signed up to the convention, which means we don’t produce or stockpile or use these weapons. I mean, they are indiscriminate weapons, of course.’ 

He admitted Ukraine hasn’t had the precision munitions or fighter aircraft it has asked for from the West, and sees cluster bombs as a ‘potential game-changer’ in its counter-offensive against President Putin’s army.

‘This admittedly horrible weapon is designed to use against dug-in entrenched forces. 

‘And as I say, if they can’t break through in this fight, which is going on in their territory, this is weapons for use on their territory, then the risk is it will continue.

‘So it’s a hard choice for the kind that the countries have to make in wartime. I’m uncomfortable with it. 

‘Yes, I wish it wasn’t being done, but I think we can understand why they’re doing it.’

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