Canada Global (Web News) Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron met for the main talks of a pompous French state visit on Thursday. The two leaders were eager to discuss the conflict in the Ukraine, worries about China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific, and European dismay over some aspects of Biden’s landmark climate law.
On Thursday night, Biden will host the first state dinner of his presidency in honour of Macron, but first the two presidents had a meeting in the Oval Office to discuss the challenging difficulties they each face.
Priority one on the agenda is the nine-month-old war in Ukraine, where Biden and Macron are up against opposition as they work to maintain US and European unanimity to continue providing economic and military aid to Kyiv as it seeks to fend off the Russian invasion.
At a welcome ceremony, Biden stated, “The decisions we make now and in the years to come will shape the direction of our planet for decades to come.”
At the beginning of the face-to-face discussion, Macron acknowledged the “difficult circumstances” in Ukraine and urged the two countries to “synchronise our activities” on climate change more effectively.
Shortly after the ceremony, which featured a 21-gun salute and a review of the troops, hundreds of people gathered on the South Lawn for the celebration. The guests gathered to watch Biden and Macron begin the state visit were given little American and French flags by ushers.
Officials from the Biden administration have argued that the measure significantly aids the US in achieving international goals to slow climate change.
In a speech at a meeting earlier this month in Bangkok, Macron caused controversy by referring to the US and China as “two giant elephants” that are on the verge of posing “a big problem for the rest of the jungle.”
His trip to Washington also comes at a time when the US and France are closely monitoring China in the wake of last weekend’s protests in numerous Chinese cities, including Hong Kong, over Beijing’s “zero COVID” policy.