US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron emerged from White House talks on Thursday 1st December 2022 pledging to close ranks in helping Ukraine defend itself from Russia and in facing the “challenge” posed by China. The leaders issued a joint statement following Oval Office talks during Macron’s state visit, which Biden said demonstrated their countries’ “unwavering” alliance.
They “outlined a shared vision to strengthen security and increase prosperity worldwide, combat climate change, build greater resilience to its effects, and advance democratic values,” the statement said. The two reaffirmed “support for Ukraine’s defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the provision of political, security, humanitarian, and economic assistance to Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
They also expressed “respect for the Iranian people, in particular women and youth, who are bravely protesting to gain the freedom to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, which Iran itself has subscribed to and is violating.”
Despite tensions over transatlantic trade, Macron took pains to emphasize their countries’ deep historic ties and the current partnership in confronting Russia’s Ukraine invasion. “We need to become brothers in arms once more,” Macron said as he was welcomed to the White House.
Service members from the marines, army, air force, and even a detachment of soldiers in 18th-century Revolutionary War garb paraded in front of the White House. Artillery fired off a 21-gun salute, sending puffs of white smoke into the clear, chilly December sky. Standing on a red-carpeted podium with Macron, Biden said “France is our oldest ally, our unwavering partner in freedom’s cause.
The visit certainly symbolized how Washington and Paris have buried last year’s bitter spat over the way Australia pulled out of a French submarine deal in favor of acquiring US nuclear subs instead. However, Macron has made clear, in unusually blunt language, that he wants to confront Biden over the issue of trade.