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Biden, Macron pledge support to Ukraine

Jun 09, 2024

Paris [France], June 9: 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.
The United States was firmly at the side of Ukraine and other allies, Biden said. 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.
Speaking on Friday evening, Macron said he had held discussions on NATO leaders on sending military trainers to Ukraine and that several had agreed with his plans, which would be finalized "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 that agreement on the use of interest earned on frozen Russian assets to support Kiev. 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 were 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.
A state banquet is scheduled for the evening. 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.
Source: Fijian Broadcasting Cooperation