Written by 22:39 World

Biden and Macron Talk Togetherness, With No Mention of Discord Over Gaza

President Biden and President Emmanuel Macron of France stressed on Saturday how much they agreed with each other about world affairs, including the war in Ukraine, even as their countries have expressed sharply different views of the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

Appearing briefly together in front of reporters after two days of D-Day remembrances and hours before a lavish state dinner at the Élysée Palace in Paris, the two presidents declined to take any questions and papered over their stark differences about the Middle East. Instead, they both asserted the enduring strength of the American-French partnership on climate, the economy, European security and cultural ties.

“Today, I proudly stand with France to support freedom and democracy around the world,” Mr. Biden said, as the two men emerged from a closed-door meeting at the Élysée Palace.

“We see eye to eye on this war raging in Ukraine,” Mr. Macron noted, and he added that he hoped “all members of the G7 will agree to a $50 billion solidarity fund for Ukraine,” referring to the Group of 7 industrialized nations.

The French president’s comments suggested that the two leaders had reached common ground over a plan to leverage proceeds from frozen Russian assets to provide an upfront loan of up to $50 billion to Ukraine. American officials had said heading into the meeting that France was the main holdout for such a plan and that they were hoping to win support during the Paris visit.

On Gaza, Mr. Macron noted his government’s support for an Israeli cease-fire proposal that Mr. Biden has strongly backed. But the French president also directly challenged Israel to do more to deliver aid to Palestinians suffering from the government’s bombardment.

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Last modified: 9 June 2024
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