U.S. President Joe Biden is set to host French leader Emmanuel Macron for talks Thursday at the White House that are expected to cover a range of topics including Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
U.S. and French officials said Iran’s nuclear program and security in the Sahel region of Africa would also be on the agenda.
Macron is the first world leader Biden is hosting on a state visit since becoming president.
“If you look at what’s going on in Ukraine, look at what’s going on in the Indo-Pacific and the tensions with China, France is really at the center of all those things,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said ahead of Macron’s visit. “And so the president felt that this was exactly the right and the most appropriate country to start with for state visits.”
Biden and his wife, Jill, had dinner with Macron and his wife, Brigitte, at a Washington restaurant Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, Macron brought up one source of tensions between his country and the United States and he spoke in a meeting with U.S. lawmakers about Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Macron cited provisions in the legislation that provide subsidies for U.S.-made products, saying the measure was “super aggressive” toward European companies.
“I don’t want to become a market to sell American products because I have exactly the same products as you,” Macron said.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters