Biden, Macron Pledge Support To Ukraine At Start Of State Visit - Eastern Mirror
Friday, June 21, 2024

Biden, Macron pledge support to Ukraine at start of state visit

By IANS Updated: Jun 09, 2024 1:12 pm
Biden, Macron pledge support to Ukraine at start of state visit

PARIS (IANS/DPA) — President Joe Biden pledged continuing US support to Ukraine on meeting French President Emmanuel in Paris on Saturday at the start of a state visit.

Biden said that the US was firmly on the side of Ukraine and other allies. Macron also said France would continue its support for Ukraine for as long as it was necessary.

Before the two leaders met, the US administration had, however, made clear that the US would not participate in Macron’s plan to send military trainers to Ukraine.

Also read: Blinken to head to Middle East to push for Gaza ceasefire deal

Speaking on Friday evening, Macron said he had held discussions with NATO leaders on sending military trainers to Ukraine and that several had agreed with his plans, which would be finalised “in the days ahead.”

Biden has said that no US personnel will be sent to the war zone, and the White House made clear on Friday evening that nothing had changed in this regard.

The issue was not mentioned when Biden and Macron met on Saturday. Brief statements were issued, and no questions were allowed.

An official White House statement said: “Reflecting on their historical relationship and recalling the price for peace and freedom paid by past generations in both countries, the presidents reaffirm their commitment to a Europe, whole, free, and at peace.”

Macron expressed confidence in that agreement on the use of interest earned on frozen Russian assets to support Kyiv. France and the US are aiming for all G7 members to approve a loan of $50 billion.

While the US has backed the idea, European members of the G7 have shown caution amid hopes that a decision could be taken at a pending G7 meeting in Italy.

Biden and Macron welcomed the announcement from Israel that four more hostages had been freed in the Gaza Strip. Biden said that the US would not cease working until all the hostages were released and a ceasefire arranged.

Macron said that the number of dead and injured after nine months of war was unacceptable. He added that the fact that Israel was not opening all border crossings to humanitarian aid could not be tolerated.

Earlier, Macron welcomed Biden with full military honours at a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. A military choir and a band provided by the National Gendarmerie played as aircraft flew overhead.

The two leaders laid a wreath and held a minute of silence at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which lies under the national monument in the centre of the French capital.

In the evening, Biden and Macron emphasised the solidarity and friendship between their two countries at a state banquet held at the Élysée Palace.

“We are allies. We will remain allies,” Macron said in his speech.

Biden’s state visit offered “an opportunity to celebrate the untrammelled vitality of our alliance and this very special relationship between our two nations and, indeed, our love for freedom,” Macron added.

Biden highlighted how France and the US have been there for each other throughout history when it comes to securing each other’s freedom.

“You were with us to help us secure our freedom, and we were with you 170 years later… to do the same. And ever since, we’ve remained united, unyielding, as well as unwavering in our partnership,” Biden said, referencing the US gaining independence in 1776 and the end of World War Two.

“We stand at an inflection point in history,” Biden continued. “The decisions we make now will determine the course of our future for decades to come.

“We have a lot of opportunity but a lot of responsibility. And it gives me hope to know France and the United States stand together now and always.”

Macron said that being “united in spite of our differences when the main values are at stake” is the common thread of the unshakeable transatlantic bond between Washington and Paris.

Macron was Biden’s first guest on a state visit in 2022.

The US president has been in France since Wednesday, attending ceremonies in Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

By IANS Updated: Jun 09, 2024 1:12:37 pm
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