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French President Emmanuel Macron has left for Washington on his first visit since the election of Joe Biden as president, following the postponement that occurred due to the pandemic.
The Biden-Macron relationship got off to a rocky start. Macron briefly recalled France's ambassador to the United States last year after the White House announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia, undermining a contract for France to sell diesel submarines.
But the relationship has been mended, with Macron emerging as one of Biden's best European allies in the Western response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This week's visit will include talks and a press conference.
The leaders have a long agenda for their meeting Thursday at the White House, including Iran's nuclear program, China's growing security in the Indo-Pacific and growing concerns about security and stability in Africa's Sahel region, according to U.S. officials. and French.
But the focus of the meeting will be Russia's war in Ukraine, as Biden and Macron work to maintain economic and military support for Kiev as it tries to push back Russian forces.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby described Macron as the "dynamic leader" of America's oldest ally as he explained Biden's decision to honor the French president with the first state visit of his presidency.