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Landing: Biden in France, Macron begins commemorations

US President Joe Biden has started his campaign. Wednesday a visit to France, where he will participate in the commemorations of the Allied Landings. of June 6, 1944  launched by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, before a state visit on Saturday   Paris, with the willé to display the unité Westerners against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

Expected when he gets off the plane in Paris by French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, Mr. Biden will return to the beaches of Normandy (north-west) on Thursday for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, where he will meet the King Charles III, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Head of State Sergio Mattarella but also Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He will then make his first state visit to France.

Landing: Biden in France, Macron begins commemorations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) greets French President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting, October 5, 2023 in Granada (Spain) © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

Mr. Biden is to speak during official ceremonies on the beaches of Utah and Omaha Beach where “73,000 courageous Americans” landed to “open the way to the liberation of France and Europe,” said the White House.

On the sidelines of this program, he will have the opportunity to speak with his Ukrainian counterpart to see “how we can continue to deepen our support,” she added. Other discussions between the two men are planned during the G7 summit in Italy, from June 13 to 15.

As of Monday, around fifty American veterans, some of whom participated in June 6, 1944, landed at Deauville airport in Normandy to attend the festivities. “Welcome to France to the heroes,” Mr. Macron wrote on X on Tuesday.

A strong symbol, Russia, invited ten years ago and former ally of the United States and the United Kingdom against Nazi Germany, was formally excluded from the ceremonies because of its invasion of Ukraine.

– “Defending freedom” –

The French presidency has not hidden its desire to display Western unity at a time when a major conflict is once again hitting Europe. Mr. Macron must in particular clarify his intentions regarding the possible sending of military instructors to Ukraine.

On June 7, Joe Biden is to deliver a speech at Pointe du Hoc, also in Normandy, “on the importance of defending freedom and democracy,” according to the White House. A message that he intends to intensify in view of the new presidential election in November.

Received Saturday in Paris at the highest protocol level, Mr. Biden will be welcomed at the Arc de Triomphe, before meetings and a banquet at the Elysée with Emmanuel Macron.

“While 80 years after the Liberation of Europe, war has returned to the continent, the two presidents will discuss the unfailing and long-term support to be given to Ukraine,” said the French presidency.< /p>

Landing: Biden in France, Macron begins commemorations

US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One before departing for France, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, June 4, 2024 © AFP – SAUL LOEB

“This close coordination on international crises will be intended to prepare the next international events, in particular the G7 summit”, in mid-June in Italy, “and the NATO summit”, in July in Washington, added this source.

Emmanuel Macron must launch the D-Day celebrations in Plumelec (Brittany, west) on Wednesday with first tributes to the Breton resistance fighters, the first paratroopers of Free France and the numerous victims civilians of the Second World War.

“We will continue to honor all the memories of those who contributed to our liberation: those who stood up to fight Nazism, those who fought on all fronts, those who suffered and those who took all the risks to ease the suffering,” wrote President Macron in the press kit for this extraordinary diplomatic meeting.

– “Capital of ruins” –

He will travel to Saint-Lô, in Normandy, in the afternoon for a speech on the civilian victims of the Allied bombings. “Capital of ruins”, according to the expression of the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, the city had been 90% destroyed on the night of June 6 to 7. In total, these Allied bombings caused between 50,000 and 70,000 civilian casualties, including 10,000 in Normandy alone.

Finally, on Wednesday evening, still in Normandy, Emmanuel Macron will pay tribute to the prisoners in Caen prison, mainly resistance fighters, shot by the Germans during the Landings.

As Sunday's European elections approach, which are expected to be bad for his camp, the French president has decided to extend the commemorations this year over three days, from Wednesday to Friday.

In the midst of his re-election campaign, Joe Biden hopes to take advantage of this visit to France to stand out from his rival Donald Trump, who is embroiled in his legal troubles.

After a visit to the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, in Normandy, on Thursday, where he will meet veterans, he is due to lay a wreath on Sunday at the American cemetery in Bois Belleau (Aisne), in tribute to the soldiers who fell during the First World War.

In 2018, Donald Trump had decided not to go there, officially because of the bad weather temps.

All rights reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116