Biden confuses Libya and Syria three times during remarks at G-7 summit

President Joe Biden confused Libya and Syria three times during a press conference from the G-7 summit.

“There is a lot going on where we can work together with Russia,” Biden said Sunday in response to a question from NBC’s Peter Alexander on how the president plans to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“For example, in Libya, we should be opening up the passes to be able to go through and provide food assistance, an economic, I mean, vital assistance to a population that is in real trouble. I think I’m gonna try very hard — by the way, there’s places where — I should not be starting off by negotiating in public here, but let me say it this way: Russia has engaged in activities which we believe are contrary to international norms,” Biden continued, apparently attempting to allude to Russia’s military presence in Syria.

Biden then appeared to confuse the countries two more times as he continued to make his point.


“They have also bitten off some real problems, and they’re gonna have trouble chewing on them. For example, the rebuilding of Syria, of Libya. They’re there, and as long as they’re there without the ability to bring about some order in the region, and you can’t do that very well without providing for the basic economic needs of people, so I am hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in, for example, in Libya consistent with the interests of — maybe for different reasons, but for the same reasons,” Biden said.

Speaking of Putin specifically, Biden cautioned that it would be difficult for him to “change a person’s behavior.”

“There is no guarantee you can change a person’s behavior or the behavior of their country. Autocrats have enormous power, and they do not have to answer to a public,” Biden said. “The fact is that it may very well be if I respond in kind, which I will, that it does not dissuade him. He wants to keep going. But I think we’re gonna be moving in a direction where Russia has its own dilemmas, let us say, in dealing with its economy, dealing with COVID, and dealing with, not only the United States, but Europe writ large and the Middle East.”

Biden's aides dismissed the apparent gaffe, saying he meant to say Syria instead of Libya.

The gaffe comes as Biden prepares to hold his first meeting with Putin during a summit this week in Geneva, Switzerland. Those close to the president say he has been studying intensely ahead of his meeting with the Russian leader, spending his mornings during the G-7 summit consulting with aides about the talks.


"He's overprepared!" boasted first lady Jill Biden of her husband.

Biden’s talks with Putin are set to begin Wednesday.

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Tags: News, Joe Biden, G7, Jill Biden, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Libya, Syria

Original Author: Michael Lee

Original Location: Biden confuses Libya and Syria three times during remarks at G-7 summit