Biden hosts French President Macron for state dinner


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden this week will host French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron for the Biden administration’s first state dinner.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said Monday the dinner, which is scheduled for Thursday, “is an opportunity to highlight a foundational component of this administration’s approach to foreign policy and that’s through alliances.”

“France is a vital global partner and, of course, the United States’ oldest ally,” Kirby said. “Our partnership and tackling tough global challenges underpinned by our shared commitment to democratic principles, values and institutions, and our cultural ties remain a source of strength and importance to our bilateral relationship.”

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The state dinner is occurring nearly halfway through Biden’s term as president. The White House previously said that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in the event.

This is not the first time Macron has attended a state dinner at the White House. In April 2018, former President Donald Trump hosted the French president for Trump’s first official state dinner.

What Macron’s schedule looks like

The French president arrives in Washington D.C. this week ahead of Thursday’s dinner.

Macron on Wednesday will join Vice President Kamala Harris in visiting NASA headquarters. Kirby said the visit will “showcase our deepening collaboration on space in support of Earth climate and space science and space exploration.”

On Thursday, Biden and the first lady, along with Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, will greet Macron and his wife for the official arrival ceremony. 

Biden and Macron will have a bilateral discussion on the same day where the two leaders “will discuss our continued close partnership on shared global challenges and areas of bilateral interest,” according to the White House. They will then hold a press conference following the bilateral meeting.

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Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday will also host a luncheon at the State Department for Macron.

On Thursday evening, Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, for the state dinner. Harris and Emhoff will also be in attendance.

“Throughout all of these events, you can expect to see on display both our long shared history as allies as well as our deep partnership and taking on the most urgent global challenges of today and tomorrow,” Kirby said Monday.

What to expect at the state dinner

The dinner is a black tie event where many lawmakers, ambassadors and diplomats are often in attendance at the dinner. 

Some celebrities have also made an appearance.

This year, musician and Grammy winner Jon Batiste is set to perform at the dinner. 

“An artist who transcends generations, Jon Batiste’s music…

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