Speaker Ryan invites French president to address Congress

In this March 10, 2018 photo, French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during signing of agreements ceremony in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 10, 2018. House Speaker Paul Ryan is inviting French President Emmanuel Macron to address a joint meeting of Congress next month. Macron will be the first president from the France to address Congress in more than a decade but follows a tradition of foreign leaders appearing at the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is inviting French President Emmanuel Macron to address a joint meeting of Congress next month.

It’s been more than a decade since a president from France has addressed Congress, but Macron’s meeting would follow a tradition of foreign leaders appearing at the U.S. Capitol, the speaker’s office said.

His meeting at the Capitol would follow a visit by Macron to the White House for the first state visit of President Donald Trump’s administration. Macron will be welcomed with a South Lawn arrival ceremony and a state dinner.

“France is not only our oldest ally, but one of our strongest,” Ryan said in a statement. “This is a special opportunity to build on the historic relationship between our countries, and to reaffirm our commitment to defeating terror both domestically and around the world.”

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Macron is emerging as one of the international community’s more dominant figures. While he is pro-business in ways that reflect Republican views, his positions on other matters, including social issues and the role of government, align him more closely with the American left.

Trump was Macron’s guest at a Bastille Day celebration last year and the invitation from the Republican speaker underscores Macron’s position as a leader that both sides of the aisle in Congress may see as a potential partner.

The speaker’s office said the meeting is set for April 25.

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