In Normandy, Biden to Mark 80th Anniversary of D-Day, Meet Zelenskyy

The president is expected to caution the Ukrainian leader about excessive cross-border strikes on Russia using American weapons.

PARIS—President Joe Biden arrived in France on June 5, kicking off a five-day trip to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy and participate in a state visit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The president is also expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“While he’s in Normandy, he’ll have the opportunity to sit down with President Zelensky and have an engagement with him to talk about the state of play in Ukraine and how we can continue and deepen our support for Ukraine,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One en route to France.

During his meeting with Mr. Zelenskyy, the president is expected to express his support, while also cautioning against excessive cross-border strikes on Russia using American weapons, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ukraine reportedly has used U.S. arms to strike Russia in recent days with the announced sole intention of defending Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Commemorating D-Day

“While in Normandy, the President will speak with our nation’s veterans and veterans from Allied powers.  And they’ll deliver remarks about the continued impact of their contributions,” White House National Security communications advisor John Kirby told reporters during a call on June 4.

President Biden will give a speech to commemorate the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast in 1944, which ultimately led to the liberation of France and Europe.

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The president is scheduled on June 7 to give another speech at Pointe du Hoc, France, emphasizing the significance of “defending freedom and democracy,” according to the White House.

On June 6, 2044, Allied forces launched a massive naval, air, and land assault on Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The invasion is famously known as “D-Day.” According to the U.S. military, the term refers to the first day of a big military operation.

The Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy, codenamed Operation “Overlord,” marked the beginning of a long campaign to defeat Germany. On the morning of D-Day, two naval task forces landed roughly 133,000 ground troops on five beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

Seventy-three thousand Americans landed at Utah and Omaha beaches in Normandy, according to the White House.

Two months after the D-Day invasion, the Allied forces reached Paris and liberated the French capital from Nazi occupation. On May 7, 1945, German General Alfred Jodl declared an unconditional surrender in Reims, France.

“As you all know, Operation Overlord not only freed France’s western region during the Second World War but set the course for the liberation of the rest of Europe. It was the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany,” Mr. Kirby said.

“And it absolutely helped lead to our current rules-based world order that has continued to make us all safer and more secure.”

After the ceremonies in Normandy, the president and first lady will remain in Paris to attend a state visit with Mr. Macron. It will mark President Biden’s first state visit to France.

There will be a series of deliverables from this state visit, Mr. Kirby said.

“You can expect that they will underscore the power and the importance of the transatlantic relationship. You can expect that they will help deepen our Indo-Pacific cooperation, not just from a security perspective, but also from an economic and diplomatic one.”

Both leaders are also expected to discuss frozen Russian assets and how they could be used to assist Ukraine, particularly in reconstruction.

Mr. Kirby noted that the United States cannot decide on Russian assets unilaterally “because the assets are held all over the world.”

“So, we’ve got to have participation and assistance with our allies and partners, or it won’t work,” he added.

The president’s five-day trip to France comes amid his son’s ongoing criminal trial in Delaware and his own efforts to seal a peace deal in the Middle East.

Hunter Biden faces three criminal counts in connection with a gun purchase in 2018.

After the trial opened on June 3, President Biden released a statement saying that he has “boundless love” for his son and “respect for his strength.”

“I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” the president said.

Hunter Biden has pled not guilty.

The trial comes on the heels of former President Donald Trump’s conviction this past week in New York’s Manhattan Criminal Court on 34 charges of falsifying company records.

President Biden is also facing domestic pressure regarding Israel’s war in Gaza. On May 31, he presented what he labeled as an Israeli peace plan, stating that “it’s a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages.”

He urged Hamas to accept the plan, which comprises three phases.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has had mixed reactions to this proposal.

“The claims that we have agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met are incorrect,” Mr. Netanyahu said on June 3.

When asked about the Israeli leader’s motivations, President Biden stated that he did not believe it was a matter of playing politics.

“I don’t think so. He’s trying to work out a serious problem he has,” President Biden told reporters before leaving for France.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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