Joe Biden Mixed up Syria With Libya at G7 Press Conference

U.S. President Joe Biden has apparently mixed up Syria and Libya several times in a press conference at the G7 meeting in Britain on Sunday.

The president was talking about how the United States and Russia can work together to help the people of "Libya." Russia is an ally of the Syrian regime but in Libya, Moscow is backing the Libya National Army, eastern separatists led by Khalifa Haftar that are trying to overthrow the U.N.-backed government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

"And so, there's a lot going on where we can work together with Russia. For example, in Libya, we should be opening up the passes to be able to go through and provide—provide food assistance and economic—I mean, vital assistance to a population that's in real trouble," Biden said in Cornwall, where the conference was held.

The White House later tried to brush this off, and said that the president meant to say "Syria" instead of "Libya," according to Fox News.

There were two other mentions of Libya in Biden's answer, both of which may have also been gaffes.

"Russia has engaged in activities which are—we believe are contrary to international norms, but they have also bitten off some real problems they're going to have trouble chewing on," Biden said.

"And, for example, the rebuilding of—of Syria, of Libya, of—you know, this is—they're there. And as long as they're there without the ability to bring about some order in the—in the region, and you can't do that very well without providing for the basic economic needs of people.

"So I'm hopeful that we can find an accommodation that—where we can save the lives of people in—for example, in—in Libya, that—consistent with the interest of—maybe for different reasons—but reached it for the same reason—the same result."

Newsweek has contacted the White House for further clarification on the president's comments.

The president met with G7 leaders—from the U.K., Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy—over the weekend, as well as premiers from guest countries Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea.

The president and the first lady Jill Biden met Queen Elizabeth II at her Windsor Castle residence after the conference, making him the 13th U.S. president to meet the monarch.

The president made another gaffe when he kept his sunglasses on to meet the 95-year-old queen—a breach of royal protocol.

Biden is scheduled to attend a NATO summit in Brussels on Monday, European Union leaders on Tuesday before a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

The two men are set to discuss the frayed relationship between the two countries, as well as Russian military presence in Ukraine and jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Biden called Putin a "killer" in an interview in March.

Biden at G7 Summit
U.S. President Joe Biden smiles at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay on June 12, 2021 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. Biden apparently mixed up Syria and Libya multiple times during a press conference at the summit. Leon Neal/Getty