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Macron pulls out all the stops for Biden

The Arc de Triomphe and a descent of the Champs-Elysées with the Republican Guard: Emmanuel Macron deploys all the splendor of the Republic on Saturday for Joe Biden, in order to celebrate a relationship back on track after a few bumps.

The French president and his American counterpart, after a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe scheduled for 12:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. GMT), will be flanked on the most famous avenue in the world, decked out in the colors of their two countries , by 140 horses and 38 bikers.

Everything is being done, on both sides, to clearly show that “we are closer than we have ever been,” as a White House spokesman, John Kirby, said on Friday.

On the French side, people are pleased to be entitled to the longest foreign visit by the 81-year-old Democrat, and this in the middle of the campaign for the American presidential election in November, which will see him face Donald Trump.

Joe Biden arrived in Paris on Wednesday morning — he did not, however, have any public events on his agenda that day — and participated on Thursday, with Emmanuel Macron, in the commemorations of the Allied landings of 1944. He will leave on Sunday after visiting an American cemetery.

The state visit itself is taking place Saturday.

– Europeans –

This day of diplomatic pomp could fuel criticism from opponents of the French head of state who accuse him, before Sunday's European elections, of having campaigned all week under the guise of dealing with foreign policy.< /p>

The visit will continue with a working lunch and conclude with a gala dinner.

Macron pulls out all the stops for Biden

US President Joe Biden attends commemorations of the 1944 Allied landings in Normandy, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, northwest France, June 6, 2024 © AFP – MIGUEL MEDINA

Washington promised announcements on maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region. Partnerships in the fight against climate change will also be discussed.

Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron will obviously discuss the major international issues of the moment, on which the 81-year-old democrat and the president, 35 years his junior, are generally in harmony, if not impeccably aligned.

Thus on the conflict in Gaza. Since the unprecedented Hamas attack, Joe Biden has been the strongest supporter of the offensive led since then by Israel, where France distances itself from the way in which the Israeli army conducts its operations.

For example, Paris recently cancelled the participation of Israeli arms manufacturers in the major Eurosatory defence exhibition.

– Submarines –

On Ukraine, the two countries, allies within NATO, promise with one voice to help kyiv in the face of the Russian invasion. But Washington is careful not to follow all the impulses of the French president, for example on the possible sending of military instructors to Ukrainian soil.

Macron pulls out all the stops for Biden

President Emmanuel Macron and his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference at the Elysée, June 7, 2024 in Paris © POOL – Yoan VALAT

The fact remains that the relationship between the two men has greatly improved since in September 2021, the United States took away, under France's nose, a major subcontract. sailors with Australia.

The diplomatic crisis which followed remains as one of the sharpest episodes of tension between the United States and its “oldest ally “, as they like to call France.

“One of the things that (the US president) respects and admires so much about President Macron is his ability to be as honest and direct as he himself is. That's what he wants to see in a friend and an ally : an ability to get straight to the point and say what you think”, assured John Kirby.

Macron pulls out all the stops for Biden

US President Joe Biden (r) meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, December 1, 2022 © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

To overcome the quarrel, the American president had also reserved for the French head of state the first state visit to the White House of his mandate, in December 2022.

The two men now seem completely reconciled. Not to the point, however, of convincing the octogenarian president, who is less and less inclined to this exercise, to hold a joint press conference in Paris.

Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron will only make statements to the press on Saturday. Asked about this aspect, John Kirby was not very forthcoming: “It is the system that was decided.”

All rights of reproduction and representation 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