US Secretary of State arrives in France for talks on Ukraine and Gaza

Tuesday, 2 April 2024 —

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Paris to discuss support for Ukraine in the war with Russia and the conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group with French President Emmanuel Macron.

As reported by AFP, officials say the Secretary of State and French officials will review the results of an international conference held in Paris in February to provide financial and military support to Ukraine.

It is noted that Blinken will discuss "an escalating international crisis" with Macron. He will also hold talks with French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné.

As the foreign minister's entourage told AFP, both sides want to "intensify" support for Ukraine.

At the same time, the French Foreign Ministry said that Séjourné and Blinken will discuss preparations for the NATO summit in Washington in July, as well as the "crisis" in the Middle East, Ukraine and Sudan.

The day before, the State Department reported that Blinken would meet with Macron, Séjourné, and other key French officials to discuss international efforts supporting Ukraine.

As a symbolic visit, the US Secretary of State, together with French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu, will visit a plant near Paris belonging to the Franco-German defence concern KNDS, which produces artillery guns used by Ukraine.

In March, Macron stated that a possible deployment of Western troops to Ukraine "cannot be ruled out". He later added that his controverial words had been carefully thought through.

Later, commenting on the idea he raised, Macron stressed that if such a scenario were to be implemented, French forces would not go on the offensive against Russia.

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