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Emmanuel Macron hails freedom ‘rendez-vous’ in US Congress speech

The French president spoke of his country’s shared history and ‘special bond’ with Washington.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron drew on the shared history and “special bond” with the US as he opened a joint meeting of Congress.

Mr Macron told Congress, “the American and French people have had a rendez-vous with freedom”.

In recounting common bonds from the earliest days of the United States, he was telling of a meeting between Ben Franklin and the French philosopher Voltaire, “kissing each other’s cheeks”.

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Emmanuel Macron, escorted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is welcomed by US representatives (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

In an apparent reference to his friendly meetings this week with President Donald Trump, Mr Macron joked: “It can remind you of something.”

Mr Macron spoke on Wednesday as part of his visit to the United States.

It is the first time a president from France has addressed Congress in more than a decade, but follows a tradition of foreign leaders appearing at the US Capitol.

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