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Biden marks D-Day in France as Europe security under threat

In this June 1944, file photo, U.S. reinforcements wade through the surf as they land at Normandy.
In this June 1944, file photo, U.S. reinforcements wade through the surf as they land at Normandy. Copyright PETER J. CARROLL/1944 AP
Copyright PETER J. CARROLL/1944 AP
By Euronews with AP
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The US president will mark the 80th anniversary of the World War Two invasion that liberated France from Nazi Germany.

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Joe Biden is set to 80 years after the D-Day invasion in France this week as he tries to demonstrate steadfast support for European security.

The trip comes amid the deadliest fighting on the continent since World War II in Ukraine, where Russia is gaining ground on the battlefield.

Arriving in Paris on Wednesday, Biden will visit ground near Normandy beaches, home to rows of graves of US soldiers killed in the World War II battle. He'll also speak on Friday at Pointe du Hoc, a spot on the French coast where Army Rangers scaled seaside cliffs to overcome Nazi defences.

White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan said on route to France that Biden will stress how these men “put the country ahead of themselves".

He will also detail “the dangers of isolationism, and how, if we back dictators and fail to stand up to them, they keep going and ultimately America and the world pays a greater price.”

“Eighty years later, we see dictators once again attempting to challenge the order, attempting to march in Europe,” Sullivan said, "and that freedom-loving nations need to rally to stand against that, as we have.”

Candles are lit on each tombstone of the Commonwealth war cemetery in Normandy, France, June 4, 2024.
Candles are lit on each tombstone of the Commonwealth war cemetery in Normandy, France, June 4, 2024. Laurent Cipriani/Copyright 2024. The AP. All rights reserved.

He also said Biden would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in France to discuss "how we can continue and deepen our support for Ukraine.”

On Saturday, Biden be hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron for a state visit, where the pair are expected to discuss their alliance, trade and security.

Where does Trump stand on European security?

Biden will return to the United States on Sunday, stopping at a World War I cemetary for US soliders before he leaves. Former US President Donland Trump skipped pans to visit the same site during a 2018 trip to France, a decision the White House blamed on weather at the time.

However,later reports found Trump told aides he didn't want to go because he viewed the dead soldiers as “suckers” and “losers.” He has denied the comments.

“This guy does not deserve to be president,” Biden said.

Although the two presidents are from the same generation — Biden, 81, was born one and a half years before D-Day; Trump, 77, was born two years after the invasion — they have divergent views on the European and American alliance.

For Biden, US ties to Europe are a cornerstone of stability and a source of strength. For Trump, they're a drain on precious resources, and he's expressed more affinity for autocratic leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine has upended the continent.

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