South Lawn

9:33 A.M. EST 

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Bonjour.  (Applause.)  The temperature may be a little chilly on this December night — day, but our hearts are warm and to welcome such close friends to the White House. 

President Macron and Brigitte, members of the French delegation, distinguished guests: It’s an honor — a genuine honor — to host you for the first state visit of my administration — (applause) — and to celebrate the enduring strength and vitality of the great friendship between France and the United States of America.

As my friend and I were talking, France is our oldest ally, our unwavering partner in freedom’s cause.

From the spirit of the Marcus [Marquis] de Lafayette, who helped secure the success of our revolution, to the sacrifice of American GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy, our history has been shaped by the courage of the women and men who crossed the Atlantic, carrying within their hearts the flame of liberty.

Today, that flame burns more brightly than ever and the alliance between our two nations remains essential to our mutual defense.

As Allies in NATO, together with our European Union and the G7 and partners around the world, France and the United States are facing down Vladimir Putin’s grasping ambition for conquest and Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, which has once more shattered peace on the continent of Europe. 

France and the United States are once again defending the democratic values and universal human rights which are the heart of both our nations.

The wellspring of our strength is a shared commitment to liberty and justice for all — liberté, egalité, fraternité.

We are proving to people around the world that democracies deliver, from our joint leadership to make sure partners everywhere — everywhere and parents everywhere can be — feed their children, to cooperate and to tackle the climate crisis, and preserve our planet for generations yet to come. 

And on this World’s AIDS Day, we reaffirm our shared commitment to end the AIDS ecidemic [epidemic] by 2030.

President Macron, you heard me speak before about the inflection point we stand at in history and how the choices we make today and in the years ahead will determine the course of our world for decades to come.

And the United States could not ask for a better partner in this work than France.  For centuries, we’ve come together, charted a course toward a world of greater freedom, greater opportunity, greater dignity, and greater peace.

Stalwart friends in times of triumph and of trial, France and the United States will meet the future, just as we always have: confident in our shared capacity, sustained by the strength of our shared values, and undaunted by any challenge that lies ahead. 

And the connections that we are building today between our students, our businesses, our trailblazers will see our alliance continue to prosper and grow stronger for decades to come. 

So, Mr. President, welcome, again.  And welcome to the French delegation.  I’m honored to have you here, and looking forward to a wonderful day together. 

God bless both our nations.  And may God protect our troops.

Mr. President.  (Applause.)

PRESIDENT MACRON:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you so much, Mr. President, dear Joe; Madam, dear Jill; ladies and gentlemen; distinguished guests.

We are both honored and moved, Mr. President, to be here with you today at the White House — honored and moved, like you said, Mr. President, because our two nations are sisters in their fight for freedom.

France, from the beginnings of American independence, the inception of your country — and the United States in the life sacrifice from the trenches of the Somme to the beaches of Normandy.

Accordingly, we bear a duty to this shared history.  As war returns to the European soil following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and in light of the multiple crises our nations and our societies face, we need to become brothers in arms once more.

This spirit of fraternity must enable us to build an agenda of ambition and hope, as our two countries share the same faith in freedom, in democratic values, in empowerment through education and work, and in progress through science and knowledge.

Our democracies on both sides of the ocean are being shaken by the same doubts as to our ability to be sufficiently strong and effective when it comes to the challenges we share — those of the climate, geopolitics, and technology.  They’re in doubt in the face of relativism, hate speech, false information, and today’s fears.

United today by the same determination and the same strength of mind.  Together, we need to find a path to offer a possible future for our children — one of prosperity, justice, and ecology.

Together, we need to work to rebuild the unity of our societies through respect and recognition — the only means to eradicate hate.

Together, we need to frame new world balances to bring peace and build a renewed, more equitable partnership with the Global South.

Our new frontiers are there, and it is our shared responsibility to respond to this.  And to that effect, the United States and France — the strongest allies — are there, because our relationship is rooted in centuries.

It is our shared destiny to respond to those challenges together — true to our history, clear sighted of our world, and determined to generate hope.

Long live the friendship between the United States and France.  (Applause.)

                        END                9:46 A.M. EST

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