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'Tensions Lurk' Behind Biden-Macron Toasts & Backslapping

© AFP 2023 / SAUL LOEBFrench President Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hands with US President Joe Biden during an official state dinner as part of US President's state visit to France on June 8, 2024.
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hands with US President Joe Biden during an official state dinner as part of US President's state visit to France on June 8, 2024.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.06.2024
French President Emmanuel Macron has been playing host to US leader Joe Biden with all the pomp and circumstance befitting a state visit timed to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing of Allied troops in Normandy. The two men interspersed toasts and warmongering rhetoric against the scenic pageantry of the occasion.
No amount of toasts and backslapping between French President Emmanuel Macron and his visiting US counterpart Joe Biden can conceal the simmering underlying tensions between the two over a host of issues, The New York Times acknowledged.
Biden is being feted by Macron against the backdrop of ceremonies marking the anniversary of the D-Day landing of Allied troops 80 years ago. The commemoration has drawn controversy for not including officials from the Russian Federation.
Their positions regarding the West’s ongoing proxy conflict in Ukraine and Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza have been testing the relationship between Paris and Washington, the outlet noted. Frictions have been particularly driven by the increasingly warmongering Macron’s thirst for asserting his country’s independence from the US.
On the quiet, US officials are rolling their eyes “in exasperation” with regard to their French counterparts, the outlet claimed. It also noted that the French side is “frustrated” at the Biden administration’s “overbearing approach to trans-Atlantic leadership.”
No French president in recent history has clamored for Europe’s “strategic autonomyas insistently as Macron, the publication underscored. Suffice it to recall the French president’s remarks in April, when he made the case for a beefed-up European defense policy. Typically scaremongering by reiterating allegations of the “Russia threat,” Macron urged against “delegating our defense to the US,” saying that the “rules of the game have changed."
Accusing Washington along with Beijing of unfair competition with subsidies for their economies, he said of the US that, “we are not a priority for them.” Back in 2022, Macron harangued US lawmakers over Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) subsidies, claiming they posed a threat to French businesses.
Europe must show that "it’s never going to be a vassal for the United States" when it "speaks to other regions of the world,” reiterated Macron in April, in a speech tailored to make an impression ahead of the European elections on June 6-9. Surveys indicated that Macron’s Renaissance party would have far fewer seats in the new European Parliament, losing them to Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally (Rassemblement National) party.
Президент Франции Эммануэль Макрон и президент США Джо Байден после их ужина на саммите G7 в Эльмау, Германия - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2024
Abandonment Issues: What Macron’s ‘Verbal Bravado’ on Ukraine Conceals
While fanning the flames of NATO’s proxy conflict in Ukraine is certainly something that both the US and France are on the same page about, even there Macron is elbowing his way forward as Europe’s foremost anti-Russia hawk. In February, Macron left his US and European allies reeling after he refused to rule out the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine.
Days later, Biden in his State of the Union address responded by saying there were “no American soldiers at war in Ukraine,” and “I am determined to keep it that way.” Although, of course, NATO has long had "boots on the ground" in Ukraine in a plethora of capacities.
But Macron is like a runaway train, with statements about sending Mirage 2000 warplanes to Ukraine, and telling journalists after his Paris meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky that complying with Kiev's request to "train mobilized soldiers" was not an "escalation." Regarding that training mission, Macron added that, “the broadest possible coalition to accede to Ukraine’s request would be finalized shortly." However, no announcement of the dispatch of military instructors to Ukraine would be made while Biden was in France, to avoid provoking the US leader, sources were cited as saying.
In a swift reaction, NATO's top military officer Admiral Rob Bauer said on Friday that the alliance must first have discussions regarding France's proposal to send military trainers to Ukraine before any planning moves forward.
A French Mirage 2000 jet fighter takes off during the Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 2015) organized by Sweden, Finland and Norway in Rovaniemi, Finland on May 27, 2015.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.06.2024
'Political Posture' – Analyst Calls Out Macron’s Promises to Ukraine Ahead of European Elections
As for Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza, France has been irked by the degree of American support for its ally amid the mounting death toll and humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Palestinian enclave.
Paris believes that Washington failed to put enough pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the Israeli advance into Rafah, the NYT claimed. Plans for post-war Gaza's governance, and US reluctance to recognize Palestinian statehood are also believed to be contentious issues between the two leaders. Not that France has recognized a Palestinian state either.
Arab states have never been so involved and so ready to normalize relations with Israel if a credible pathway to a Palestinian state is established… It is frustrating,” an unnamed senior French official was cited as saying.
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Thursday March 7, 2024, in Washington.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.05.2024
Is Biden Escalating Towards WWIII to Improve His Election Chances?
The likelihood of ex-President Donald Trump making a comeback in the White House after elections in November “induces extreme anxiety in France and elsewhere in Europe,” the outlet noted. In February, Trump said that if elected as US president, he would not protect the countries that do not "pay" their "bills," urging allies to hike up NATO defense spending. There have also been fears that Trump could stop funding the Kiev regime.
But no matter the differences allegedly eating away at the US-France relationship, one thing is clear – they have consciously opted to step onto the path of dangerous escalation with regard to the Ukraine conflagration. Whether it is about potentially sending NATO troops to fight in the conflict, or Biden giving Kiev the go-ahead to use US weapons against Russia inside Russian territory, the warmongering and Russophobia show that the West is seemingly hell-bent on provoking World War III.
NATO representatives, especially in Europe, should be aware of what they are playing with,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said recently, adding:
“They don't believe that Russia will strike back except against Ukraine, which they don't really care about.”
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a news conference after the Informal Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.05.2024
The West Depends on Putin’s Rationality to Avoid WWIII
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