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Macron and Biden to discuss Ukraine in detail in Oval Office


US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a joint press conference at the White House on the war in Ukraine.

“We have spoken a lot about it at our bilateral conferences. We will continue to strongly support ,” Biden told reporters. “I knew Russia was, but I never expected them to be as brutal as they have been… Today we reaffirm our unity against this atrocity. did.”

His visit to the White House with Brigitte Macron, the spouse of the French president, was his first official visit as a state guest during the Donald Trump administration in 2018, and his second official visit. rice field. A list of events meant to highlight the strength of important ties between the United States and its oldest allies, filled with formal fanfare.

Biden opened his press conference by calling the United States and France “our strongest partners and most capable allies,” adding that “Emmanuel is both a friend and president of this great nation.” .

In his opening remarks, Macron praised Biden for fulfilling campaign commitments related to tackling global challenges, saying, “We are able to engage with you again.”

“We can once again tell you how pleased we are with your choice, which is very consistent with your history and campaign commitments. is really the New Deal,” said the French leader.

Early Thursday morning, Macron stepped onto the South Lawn of the White House for his official arrival ceremony, where a long line of French and US dignitaries and thousands of other attendees greeted them. The program included military honours, a 21-gun salute, national anthems, a military review, and remarks by both leaders.

At the ceremony, Biden called Macron a “close friend” and said, “It is a real honor to welcome you on my administration’s first official visit and to celebrate the current strength and vitality between France and the United States.”

Biden said France was the United States’ “oldest ally” and “unwavering partner”, noting the history of the relationship from Lafayette to the beaches of Normandy. It will be stronger over time,” he said.

Referring to shared values ​​between the United States and France, President Macron called the two countries “sisters in the fight for freedom” and said they would “become brothers in arms again” in the midst of Russia’s war in Ukraine. ” he called out.

Macron’s return to visiting other countries is a far cry from just a year ago when he took the unusual step of recalling the ambassador to Washington over the US-Australia submarine deal that blinded France. This was followed by a dramatic recovery in relations between France and France. And cost them billions of dollars in defense contracts. The rift seems largely behind them, with Biden and Macron deepening their ties further last year in a concerted effort to counter the war with Ukraine.

The Elysee announced that President Macron had presented the president with four gifts. It’s the vinyl from the soundtrack to the film Un Homme et une Femme that the first couple saw on their first date and her CD, a cup from Christofle’s house that symbolizes the French-American connection. , a sweater from House Saint James, a watch from LIP Horlogerie. He also gave the First Lady a copy of “Madame Bovary” and “The Plague, the Depravity, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays.” He presented Vice President Kamala Harris with a model of the Ariane 5 rocket. This is a reference to the common space interests shared by the United States and France.

First Lady Jill Biden and White House staff present the menu during a media preview ahead of a state dinner honoring French President Emmanuel Macron in the White House's State Dining Room.

According to the White House, the President and First Lady of the United States gifted them custom-made mirrors made of wood that had fallen from the White House grounds. The First Lady also gifted Mrs. Macron a pendant necklace designed by a French-American designer, the White House said. .

After a formal arrival ceremony at the White House, Biden and Macron began bilateral talks for an Oval Office meeting that lasted just under three hours. repeated.

“Things are changing fast, really fast. And it’s really important that we stay in close communication. I don’t mean all the loneliness we agree on. I mean, almost We agree on everything,” he said, adding that he would work to strengthen “security and prosperity.”

Macron said a Russian aggression in Ukraine was one of their main agendas and that “sustainable peace” was about respecting sovereign states.

“We want to build peace, and sustainable peace means full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but at the same time to ensure long-term sustainable peace. means a new structure for ,” Macron added.

U.S. and French officials did not expect the visit to be a big success, but the two countries see it as an opportunity to deepen their partnership on many global challenges. Both sides hoped to advance discussions in the working group, which was launched in the wake of last year’s submarine incident, to strengthen cooperation on space, cyberspace and energy issues.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the two leaders “outlined their shared vision of enhancing global security, promoting prosperity, combating climate change, increasing resilience to its impacts and promoting democratic values.” ”.

Of particular note, the two leaders “strongly condemned Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and stated that deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure is a war crime for which the perpetrators must be held accountable. emphasizing that it constitutes a

Regarding the Indo-Pacific, the two leaders “continue to coordinate our concerns about China’s challenges to the rules-based international order, including respect for human rights, and cooperate with China on critical global issues such as climate change.” promise.

There are areas of disagreement that were expected to emerge.

One of the biggest points of tension is the billion-plus electric vehicle subsidies included in the Inflation Reduction Act, which applies only to those manufactured in North America. President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the move, and French officials have said they will raise the issue at meetings with Biden and parliamentary leaders. Biden confirmed at a press conference on Thursday that he had discussed the issue at length.

In a joint statement, the United States and France “reaffirm their shared goal of accelerating the global green energy transition. We look forward to the work of the US and EU Task Forces on the Inflation Reduction Act to further strengthen the

On Thursday, Jill Biden and Brigitte Macron also visited Planet Word, a language-focused museum in Washington. A French official said Macron will attend a luncheon at the US State Department and meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

On Thursday night, Macron will return to the White House to attend the Biden administration’s first official dinner. De Cases, CEO of LVMH, Bernard Arnault.

The White House hasn’t revealed who it invited to Thursday night’s lavish dinner, but it said in a preview that New Orleans native John Baptiste will perform the selection.

On Wednesday, Harris welcomed President Macron to NASA and celebrated the two countries’ cooperation in space. The first family also hosted a private dinner with President Macron ahead of Thursday’s formal state dinner.

On the final leg of his U.S. visit, Macron will visit New Orleans on Friday to highlight new efforts to expand French language education in the United States.

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.

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