In first tête-à-tête, Biden and Macron reaffirm commitment to stronger bilateral ties and Transatlantic alliance

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met on Saturday with President Emmanuel Macron of France on the margins of the G7 Summit, and the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment “to deepening our bilateral ties and to the Transatlantic alliance,” the White House said.

“They highlighted their dedication to ending the pandemic, including through participation in the G7 commitment to donate COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need, and to build back better global health security for the future,” added the White House.

It said both leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to reform the international tax system to address some of the inequities created by globalization.

According to the readout of their meeting, “President Biden expressed his appreciation for France’s leadership on climate issues through the Paris Agreement, and both leaders underscored their dedication to achieve ambitious outcomes at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow in November.”

“President Biden and President Macron discussed our work to strengthen and modernize NATO, and our close cooperation on counter terrorism cooperation, including in the Sahel, and other shared foreign policy priorities such as China and Russia,” the readout says.

Below are full remarks by President Biden and President Macron before their bilateral meeting at the Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate, Saint Ives, United Kingdom.

3:01 P.M. BST

Q    How are you, sir?

PRESIDENT MACRON:  How are you?  

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  I’m well.  The sun is shining.  We’re almost on the beach.  I’m well.  And I’m with the President of France; that makes me even feel better.  (Laughs.)

AIDE:  We’re on.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  We’re on.  Okay.  We’re on.  Did you know that?  (Laughter.)  Well, we’re — we’re just having a — we’ve had a good couple days so far.  I’ve had a chance to spend some time with President Macron, get to know him.  And we — we have some things we’ve got to talk about a little bit later, but things are going, I think, well.  And we’re — we’re, as we say in — back in the States, “We’re on the same page.”  So, thank you.

PRESIDENT MACRON:  Yeah.  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.  We had a — I want to thank you for our discussion yesterday and the working sessions we had, indeed. 

We have to — to deal with this pandemic and the COVID-19.  We have to face a lot of challenges, a lot of crisis — climate change.  And for all these issues, what we need is cooperation.  And I think it’s great to have the U.S. President part of the club and very willing to cooperate.  And I think that what you — what you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership. And — and we do appreciate it, and I think we can deliver great things for that.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  I think we can do a lot, too.  We — the United States, I’ve said before — we’re back.  The U.S. is back.  We feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO. 

And I, for one, think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity that has a lot to do with the ability of Western Europe to not only handle its economic issues, but provide the backbone and the support for NATO. 

And so I — we’re very supportive — very supportive.

PRESIDENT MACRON:  Thank you. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you. 

Q    Mr. President, have you convinced allies that America is back?

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Ask him.

Q    Is America back?

PRESIDENT MACRON:  Yeah.  Definitely.

Q    Do you believe America is back?

PRESIDENT MACRON:  Definitely.

3:03 P.M. BST

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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