WORLD Biden, Macron speak for first time; discuss COVID-19, climate change

WORLD

Biden, Macron speak for first time; discuss COVID-19, climate change

CGTN

16:54, January 25, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron and new U.S. President Joe Biden are in agreement on climate change and how to fight coronavirus, the Elysee palace said on Sunday.

The two leaders spoke for the first time since Biden's inauguration in a telephone call Sunday and also discussed "their willingness to act together for peace in the Near and Middle East, in particular on the Iranian nuclear issue," the French presidency said.

The pair spoke for about an hour in English, according to members of Macron's team.

Earlier this week, Macron had lauded Biden's decision to return to the Paris climate accord.

Joe Biden takes the oath of office at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. /Getty

Former U.S. President Donald Trump formally pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord in November last year, claiming it "was designed to kill the American economy" rather than save the environment.

Describing France as America's "oldest ally," a White House statement added that Biden had pledged close coordination with Paris on climate change, COVID-19 and the global economy.

It said Biden "stressed his commitment to bolstering the transatlantic relationship, including through NATO and the United States' partnership with the European Union."
The call was the U.S. leader's latest effort to mend relations with Europe after they were badly strained under his predecessor.

Biden has vowed to return to a more traditional U.S. diplomacy built around close ties to the two North American partners, Western Europe and Asian allies such as Japan and South Korea.

Europeans have responded with expressions of relief, tempered by some doubts that the U.S. is as reliable a friend as it was in the past.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Council, said after Biden's inauguration Wednesday that the quadrennial ceremony had provided "resounding proof that, once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House."


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