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Blinken to discuss Ukraine, Gaza with Macron in Paris

By AFP

March 27, 2024 11:43 PM


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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will discuss support for Ukraine during talks in Paris next week with French President Emmanuel Macron, the State Department announced Wednesday.

France is among the major military suppliers to Ukraine, which is facing an onslaught of Russian attacks.

President Joe Biden's request for billions of dollars in new US military aid to Kyiv is held up in the House of Representatives, led by the rival Republican Party.

"Secretary Blinken will meet with French President Macron to discuss support for Ukraine, efforts to prevent escalation of the conflict in Gaza and a number of other important issues," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

France has advocated for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, whereas the United States, Israel's main ally, recently let pass a UN Security Council resolution that calls for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan.

It will be the first visit in nearly two years to France by Blinken, a fluent French speaker who grew up partly in Paris. Macron paid a state visit to Washington in December 2022.

After Paris, Blinken will head to Brussels for talks of NATO foreign ministers ahead of the alliance's 75th anniversary summit in Washington in July.

Blinken will also hold a three-way meeting in Brussels with EU leaders and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who has been seeking to branch out from his country's historic alliance with Russia.

Blinken and the European Union will address "support for Armenia's economic resilience as it works to diversify its trade partnerships and to address humanitarian needs," Miller said.

Armenia was angered last year by Russia's failure to prevent Azerbaijan from retaking the Nagorno-Karabakh region from ethnic Armenian rebels.


AFP


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