1:18 P.M. EST
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, it’s great to see you all today. President Macron and I have had a chance to spend some time together. We went to a private dinner last night with our wives, and we’re — just came to tell you that, and we’re leaving. (Laughter.) No.
But we’re — we’ve — it’s wonderful to have him here. We’ve had a great conversation and always appreciate the opportunity to share ideas with you, Mr. President.
And I especially enjoyed our time that Jill and I and Brigitte had last night and our visit. First time I’ve gone to dinner — a private dinner in Washington in a long, long time. And — but I had the protection of the French government with me. But — (laughter).
But all kidding aside, France is one of our strongest partners and historically — but one of our strongest partners and our most capable allies and — and Emmanuel has also become a friend in addition to being President of that great country.
And we — we share the same values and will remain the core, common agenda that we — address all challenges together. And occasionally, we have some slight differences, but never in a fundamental way, thus far — at least as long as I’ve been in Washington, and that’s been more than a couple years.
Today, we’re reaffirmed that France and the United States, together with all our Alli- — all our NATO Allies and European Union and the G7 stand as strong as ever against Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine. We talked a lot about that in our bilateral meeting.
And we’ll continue the strong support for the people of Ukraine as they defend their homes and their families and their sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression, which has been incredibly brutal.
I knew Russia was, but I didn’t anticipate them being as brutal as they have been in what they’ve been doing. Many of the reporters in this room have been there themselves and covered from there, and they know what it’s like.
Today, we reaffirm that, as I said, we’re going to stand together against this brutality.
And we’ll continue the strong support for the Ukrainian people as they defend their homes and their families and their nurseries, their hospitals, their sovereignty, their integrity, and — against Russia aggression.
And I want to thank you, Mr. President, for welcoming — that the people of France have given to over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees — it’s a mark of who you are as a people, and — who have flee- — or are fleeing Putin’s, just, barbarism.
Putin thinks that he can crush the will of all those who oppose his imperial ambitions. But attacking civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, choking off energy to Europe to drive up prices, exacerbating food — a food crisis, that’s hurting very vulnerable people not just in Ukraine but around the world. And he’s not going to succeed.
President Macron and I have resolved that we’re going to continue working together to hold Russia accountable for their actions and to mitigate the glota- — global impacts of Putin’s war on the rest of the world.
The United States is helping Europe diversify away from Russian natural gas in the immediate term while accelerating our clean-energy transitions, and we’re going to continue working in close partnership with Europe as we move forward. I welcome the progress we’ve already made on many of these issues through the U.S.-EU Task Force on Energy Security.
And today, we also committed to deepening cooperation between France and the United States on civil nuclear energy through our bilateral Clean Energy Partnership.
Around the world, France and the United States are working to strengthen stability and security. We share the vision — the same vision in the Indo-Pacific. We’re looking, for one, an Indo-Pacific that’s free and open, prosperous and secure.
And we’re going to continue to strengthen our cooperation to defend core international principles in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight.
We’re working together to support the Middle East that is more integrated, peaceful, and prosperous. And we want to particularly thank President Macron for his efforts to help bring about the historic maritime boundaries agreement between Israel and Lebanon.
We also stand with the people of Iran. And the French and the United States are working together to hold accountable those responsible for the human rights abuses, to counter Iran’s support for Russia’s war, and to ensure that Iran does not — does not — emphasize “does not” — ever acquire a nuclear weapon.
And, as we in the United States are looking forward to hosting the upcoming U.S.-African Leaders Summit, President Macron and I understand Africa’s influence and importance. And he has much to add — France has much to add.
We also are going to deepen our engagement, listening to and working with our African partners, to help strengthen the governance and security and economic opportunities across the continent and to tackle the global challenges of our time.
Our partnership also extends to cooperating in outer space, from coordinating defenses and our — excuse me — from coordinating defense of our space activities to strengthening scientific efforts to monitor Earth’s changing climate.
And we’re — we are — we had a detailed discussion of the Inflation Reduction Act. I know none of you are curious about that, but we did talk about that a good deal.
The United States and Europe share the goal of making bold investments in clean energy to meet the challenges of the climate crisis and to build — and to build the industries of the future, including batteries and green hydrogen.
We agreed to discuss practical steps to coordinate and align our approaches so that we can strengthen and secure the supply chains, manufacturing, and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic.
We asked our teams to follow up on this part as ongoing U.S.-EU consultation continues to — because we can work out some of the differences that exist, I’m confident.
France and the United States are also leading efforts to strengthen the global health and global health security.
President Macron’s visits — visit falls on the World AIDS Day. And I want to particularly highlight our joint effort to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. That is a goal we set, and it’s a goal we’re going to accomplish and the goal we’re sticking with.
And to do it, we have to — all the tools we need. We just have to make finishing this fight a top priority for not just the two of us, but for other nations as well.
And that’s why I’m proud to take the baton from you, President Macron, and host the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference this year, building on France’s strong record of leadership.
We’ve raised $15.7 billion with the United States and France as the two largest contributors to the Global Fund. And it’s going to save millions — literally millions of lives.
If I listed all the areas where cooperation between France and the United States was delivering — were delivering meaningful progress, we’d be here until dinnertime.
But so, let me just close by highlighting our long-term investment to deepen the ties between our people, particularly the Fre- — the U.S.-French Fulbright Program, which celebrates its 75th anniversary and has facilitated thousands of exchanges between our students, our educators over the last decades.
It’s been critical to our relationship. It’s a key part of ensuring that the future of this vital alliance remain strong and vibrant for generations to come.
So, Emmanuel, I want to thank you again for all that our nations are doing together and the cooperation. My administration has built our foreign policy around the strength of our alliances, and France is the very heart of that commitment.
So, merci, my friend. And I look forward to continuing to work with you. And as I used to say in the body I worked in a long time, in the United States Senate, “The floor is yours.”
PRESIDENT MACRON: (As interpreted.) Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, dear Joe, thank you ever so much for these words that very much reflect the discussions we just had.
But most importantly, thank you very much for your warm welcome. And indeed, together with my wife, Brigitte, we were very pleased to share this moment together with you and your spouse last night.
And let me tell you how honored and moved we are, both my delegation and myself, to be here, invited by you, on the occasion of this first state visit by your administration.
And regarding this relationship, we said it this morning and you just said it again: This heritage is based on — on life sacrifice, on so much. And I would like to say that, over centuries, every time there was something vital at stake, we were there one for the other without any doubt, without any hesitation. And this is very much what should structure the rest of it.
It is this spirit that is prevailing in the current circumstances since last February. And I do not repeat what President Biden perfectly described. And, dear Joe, indeed, you very much described what we’re doing together in Ukraine.
We clearly condemned this war immediately. We led all the diplomatic actions to condemn this war, the war crimes committed by Russia on the Ukrainian soil. And
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