President Joe Biden will host his first state visit to the White House for his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, marking the return of a tradition of no visits since before the covid-19 pandemic.
“We would like to announce that President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Biden will host President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron from France for a state visit to the United States on December 1, 2022. This will be the first state visit of the Biden-Harris administration,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The visit, which will include a state dinner, “will underscore the deep and enduring relationship between the United States and France, our oldest ally,” Jean-Pierre said.
“Our close relationship with France is based on our shared democratic values, economic ties, and defense and security cooperation. The leaders will discuss our continued close partnership on shared global challenges and areas of bilateral interest.”
Biden would hold his first state dinner in more than half of his term in office, that is, later than his predecessors. The White House spokeswoman admitted that “Covid has certainly delayed many of the in-person events that a president traditionally hosts at the White House,” but she nonetheless highlighted past visits by world leaders earlier in Biden’s term.
The traditional state visit to the White House, which is typically a multi-day event that includes formal ceremonies, meetings and a spectacular black-tie dinner, has been on the wane since the pandemic.
Macron and Biden have spoken on different occasions since the US president took office in January 2021. They most recently met last week in New York as world leaders convened for the UN General Assembly. The two discussed the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific and the challenges posed by China, according to the White House.
The leaders of the United States and France held their first formal meeting in June 2021 at the G7 Summit in England, leaving after announcing that they were on the same page.
Macron had praised Biden for being “part of the club” after a strained relationship with former Republican President Donald Trump.