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Trump to welcome Macron for first state visit on April 23

French President Emmanuel Macron will make his state visit to the United States on April 23-25, his office announced, the first by a foreign leader since Donald Trump assumed the presidency last year.

Trump to welcome Macron for first state visit on April 23
AFP

“This invitation reflects the long-standing historical friendship and alliance between our countries, and the strength of relations between the two presidents,” Macron's office said late Monday.

Trump extended the invitation in January after he was hosted by Macron in July for the Bastille Day national holiday — when the US leader was impressed by the huge traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysees.

This month the White House said Trump is seeking a similar military parade, an unconventional move that would showcase American muscle and underscore his role as commander-in-chief.

Although Trump and Macron have professed good relations and met several times, they disagree on a range of fundamental issues, not least Trump's
decision to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris agreement on fighting climate change.

The programme for Macron's visit has not yet been finalised, but will include a joint press conference and a state dinner, his office said.

Diplomatic sources said Macron may also use the occasion to visit New Orleans, which this year celebrates its 300th anniversary since its founding by the French in 1718.

FRANCE US

‘We have a lot to do’: Macron congratulates Joe Biden on winning US presidential election

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday congratulated US president-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on their election victory.

'We have a lot to do': Macron congratulates Joe Biden on winning US presidential election
Joe Biden. AFP

“The Americans have chosen their president,” said Macron

“We have a lot to do to overcome today's challenges. Let's work together!” Macron tweeted, in French and English, after major US media networks announced Biden's victory over incumbent Donald Trump.

Macron has never met Biden, who will in January become the 46th president of the United States.

France under Macron is keen for Europe to move away from its reliance on US military might, for defence in particular.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo reacted to Biden's win by saying “Welcome back America”.

 

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday reinforced recent statements from Paris that the nature of US-EU relations had permanently changed under Trump.

Europe needs to build a “new trans-atlantic relationship, which is a new partnership” irrespective of who wins, he said then.

“We cannot go back to the status quo ante, to a kind of good old days in the trans-atlantic relationship,” as Europe affirms its sovereignty in security, defence and strategic autonomy, Le Drian added.

Apart from the far right, the French political class generally hailed Biden's victory at the polls, which saw him win more votes than any other US president in history.

Former French president Francois Hollande, who was in office when Trump came to power in 2016, welcomed the “good news for American democracy”.

Biden has promised to return the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement after Trump pulled out of it.

Hollande hailed the “happy news for the planet with the return of United States in the climate agreement”.

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