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Emmanuel Macron meets with Joe Biden at the White House

Emmanuel Macron meets with Joe Biden at the White House

US President Joe Biden hosted French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House on Thursday, kicking off an official state visit aimed at bolstering the US-France alliance as Macron has emerged as a critical ally amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

"Our hearts are warmed to welcome such close friends to the White House," Biden said at an official ceremony.

"It is a true honor to host you for the first state visit of my administration and to celebrate the current strength and vitality between France and the United States of America," he continued.

 France, Biden said, is the United States' "oldest ally" and a "steadfast partner," referring to the history of the relationship from the Marquis de Lafayette of the Revolutionary War to the beaches of Normandy during World War II.

"The alliance between our two nations remains essential to our mutual defense," he added.

Biden said the two countries are united amid Russia's "brutal war" in Ukraine and said both countries are working to ensure "democracies succeed" on many key issues.

He said the alliance would "get stronger for decades to come" as he welcomed Macron and his delegation to Washington.

 On the other hand, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Russia's continued invasion of Ukraine will be one of the main topics of discussion between the two leaders and that "sustainable peace" is about respecting sovereign nations.

"We want to build peace, and a lasting peace means full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, but at the same time a new architecture to ensure that we have a lasting peace in the long term," Macron said at the White House.

Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed at a White House news conference Thursday their commitment to "standing as strong as ever" against Russia and holding President Vladimir Putin accountable for his war in Ukraine.

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