Biden and Macron discuss the Middle East and Ukraine during French state visit

Shortly after the commemorations of the eightieth anniversary of D-Day, French President Emmanuel Macron received US President Joe Biden in Paris on Saturday for a state visit that included talks on the Middle East, Ukraine and trade.

The two countries will work harder to stop a regional escalation on account of Israel's war with the militant group Hamas within the Gaza Strip and concentrate on calming tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, Macron told reporters on the Élysée presidential palace, with Biden at his side.

“We are redoubling our efforts together to prevent a regional explosion, especially in Lebanon,” Macron said. Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed political movement and militia in Lebanon.

Both men welcomed the Rescue by Israeli forces of 4 hostages held by Hamas since October. “We will not stop working until all hostages come home and a ceasefire is reached,” Biden said.

Biden is a staunch supporter of Israel, which has persecuted Hamas because it attacked the country in October. But tens of hundreds of Palestinian deaths have embittered Biden's left-leaning political base toward Israel and can hurt him as he faces re-election in November against Republican Donald Trump.

Biden and Macron, who had spent the past few days honoring D-Day veterans and praising democratic values, didn’t answer reporters' questions.

The visit on Saturday began with a ceremony at the enduring Arc de Triomphe, where the heads of state paid their respects on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while an enormous French flag hanging from the arch fluttered within the wind above their heads.

Accompanied by their wives, Biden and Macron welcomed army veterans who joined senior officials from each countries.

The heads of state then drove along the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysees towards the Élysée Palace, escorted by French cavalry guards.

Biden and Macron maintain a warm relationship despite the past Tensions over a submarine deal with Australia. Biden received Macron for a state visit within the White House in 2022.

They are united of their support for Ukraine and their opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but haven’t yet agreed on a plan to make use of frozen Russian assets to support Kyiv. A U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday that the United States and its G7 partners made progress on this.

“The United States stands firmly with Ukraine. We stand with our allies. We stand with France,” Biden said. “Putin will not stop at Ukraine… All of Europe will be threatened. We will not allow that.”

Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris on Friday. apologizes for the months-long delay by the US Congress in approving the most recent military aid, and Zelenskiy spoke to the French National Assembly.

Beyond Ukraine, trade issues between either side of the Atlantic played a serious role, particularly in reference to the US Inflation Control Act, which Biden law entered into force in August 2022. European officials view this as a protectionist move that can divert investment from EU corporations.

Macron said he and Biden discussed the IRA's impact on the European economy again on Saturday. Despite his criticism of the IRA during his state visit to Washington in 2022, Macron and European allies have received few concessions from Washington since then.

“We really want to promote a resynchronization of our economies, between that of the United States of America and the European economies, both in terms of regulation and in terms of investment levels,” Macron said.

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