Biden visits US WWI cemetery in France stressing contrast to Trump

Paris, Jun. 10, (dpa/GNA) – US President Joe Biden paid a visit to a US World War I military cemetery near Paris accompanied by his wife Jill on Sunday at the conclusion of his five-day visit to France.

Biden participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial to the north-east of the French capital.

Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, cancelled a visit to the same cemetery while in France in 2018, with the White House citing “bad weather” that grounded his helicopter. He drew sharp criticism from US commentators for the decision.

Biden appeared to be setting a counterpoint to Trump as the US presidential campaign gets into swing five months before polling day.

Asked why he had chosen this cemetery, Biden said it was unthinkable to attend the D-Day anniversary events in Normandy and then not make the short trip there to pay tribute.

Biden, who goes into the election as the Democrat incumbent, has used his trip abroad to stress differences with his Republican challenger as the two go head-to-head for the US presidency for the second time.

During the D-Day celebrations and his state visit in Paris, Biden repeatedly spoke out against isolationism, praised international alliances, staunchly reaffirmed the US commitment to NATO and pledged continuing US support to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

His positions can all be seen as a challenge to Trump, who turned his back on foreign allies and sought close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his time in office, while repeatedly threatening to withdraw from NATO. Trump has also pledged to cut US military aid to Ukraine.