Biden In Rome Live Updates: Biden Says U.S. 'Will Always Be There' For France

Live Updates

President Biden met with Pope Francis in the Vatican Friday after arriving in Rome for the G20 summit of world leaders.

The White House said it was a "warm" 90-minute meeting in which Biden "thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world's poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution" and "lauded Pope Francis' leadership in fighting the climate crisis" and his advocacy for vaccine sharing and "an equitable global economic recovery."

Biden also met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi before his highly-anticipated meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

This is the first in-person meeting between the leaders since the U.S-Australia submarine caused diplomatic tensions between the two allies.

In a joint statement, the two leaders said they would "share a commitment to systematic and in-depth consultation and coordination to ensure transparency."

Biden's meetings come ahead of back-to-back summits - first the G20 in Rome and then COP26 in Glasgow.

The U.N.Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said G20 leaders must do more to address climate change ahead of the COP26 summit and "re-establish trust" with the rest of the world.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Biden says U.S. 'will always be there for' France

President Biden says the U.S. "will always be there" for France.

"I had a great meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron this afternoon," Biden said in a tweet following his meeting with Macron in Rome. "The United States has no older, no more loyal, no more decent ally than France. They've been with us from the beginning — and we will always be there for them.

I had a great meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron this afternoon. The United States has no older, no more loyal, no more decent ally than France. They’ve been with us from the beginning — and we will always be there for them. pic.twitter.com/3hKzqDrkfQ

— President Biden (@POTUS) October 29, 2021

Biden also thanked Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi for his leadership and his "achievement of a global minimum tax and the commitment to rapidly decarbonize how we produce electricity."

I met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi today to thank him for his leadership of the G20 during a year of overlapping global challenges. We recognized the historic achievement of a global minimum tax and the commitment to rapidly decarbonize how we produce electricity. pic.twitter.com/9fuqJUWkSe

— President Biden (@POTUS) October 29, 2021

Biden and Macron release a joint statement after meeting in Rome

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron released a joint statement that emphasized improving communication following their first meeting since the U.S-Australia submarine deal that created diplomatic tensions between the two allies.

The two leaders met to "reaffirm their commitment to closer bilateral and transatlantic cooperation in the pursuit of peace, security, and prosperity around the globe," the statement said.

Their meeting focused on "creating the conditions for ensuring confidence" that underscores their historic relationship and shared democratic values.

After the apparent miscommunication over their dealings in the Into-Pacific, the two nations said they "share a commitment to systematic and in-depth consultation and coordination to ensure transparency" bilaterally and between NATO and European Union partners.

The two leaders said they "recognize the importance of robust collaboration" in the region "amid growing economic and strategic challenges there. The U.S. welcomed France as a partner and "key contributor and security provider to a free and open Indo-Pacific."

"The United States also welcomes the E.U. strategy on the Indo-Pacific and intends to continue robust consultations on its own strategy," the statement said.

France, the President of the E.U., said it "will keep the United States closely informed of its priorities."

The two allies also committed to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining collective defense, pushing for global economic recovery, combating terrorism and addressing climate change and the launching of the "US-France Bilateral Clean Energy Partnership" by the end of the year.

UN Chief says G20 leaders must do more on climate change

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said G20 leaders must do more to address climate change ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

"There is a serious risk that Glasgow will not deliver," he said. "I think we are still on time to put things on track, and I think this G20 meeting is the opportunity to do that."

Guterres called on G20 nations to overcome "dangerous levels of mistrust" to avoid a "climate catastrophe" as well as narrow an "immoral gap" on global vaccine distribution.

"We see dangerous levels of mistrust among the big powers," Guterres said Friday. "The most important objective of this G20 summit must be to re-establish trust — by tackling the main sources of mistrust — rooted in injustices, inequalities and geopolitical divisions," he said.

Boris Johnson to set aside fishing tensions with France at G20 summit

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to ease the tensions with France over fishing in the English Channel ahead of the G20 Summitt.

Since the U.K. left the European Union in January, there have been rising tensions between London and Paris. France said it would block British ships from its ports and tighten checks on vessels unless the U.K. grants fishing licenses to French fishermen.

When asked what he would say to President Macron when they meet in Rome, Johnson called Macron "a friend" and said that "the ties that unite us, that bind us together, are far stronger than the turbulence that currently exist in the relationship."

"And what I will also say is that there may be people on either side of the Channel that they think they have an interest in promoting disharmony between the U.K. and France and creating the impression of disharmony," he added. "I don't think Emmanuel [Macron] shares that perspective."

Jill Biden spotted drinking wine with French first lady in Rome

First Lady Jill Biden and her French counterpart were seen drinking Chardonnay at a restaurant in Rome while their husbands met to discuss repairing their diplomatic relationships.

Biden said her meeting with French First Lady Brigitte Macron at Il Marchese restaurant was "wonderful."

"It's nice, two friends together, just like sisters," she said.

Biden added that the two have "come here so many times."

"I love Italy, Brigitte loves Italy. Who would not love Italy? There's nothing that we couldn't love about it right?" she said.

Jill Biden and French first lady
U.S. first lady Jill Biden, center, and French first lady Brigitte Macron, center left, speak outside of a restaurant on the sidelines of an upcoming G20 summit in Rome, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. A Group of 20 summit scheduled for this weekend in Rome is the first in-person gathering of leaders of the world's biggest economies since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo

Biden and Draghi affirmed their bilateral relationship during meeting in Rome

President Biden "affirmed the strength of the U.S.-Italy bilateral relationship" during his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi Friday.

Biden thanked Draghi for his leadership during the G20 summit, his efforts toward decarbonization and his support during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which included housing over 4,000 Afghans en route to the United States last August, according to a readout from the White House.

The leaders also discussed security challenges in the Mediterranean Sea and reaffirmed their NATO bond and the U.S.-European Union partnership.

Macron looking to a future of 'stronger cooperation' with U.S.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he and President Biden "clarified together what we had to clarify" and are looking forward to stronger coordination and cooperation in the future.

"We'll continue to work together on the main international issues — climate change, the digital sector, health — which will be on the agenda of the G20 and we'll also upgrade our discussions on the arms control, which remains a key issue," he said.

Macron said discussing joint initiatives and actions on these matters "is very much the beginning of the process of trust of confidence, which we're building together," Macron said.

"For me, what's important is that we build during these past weeks some very concrete actions in order to strengthen the partnership, with the help and clarification between what the European defense means and the how that's completely compatible with NATO," he added.

Biden calls U.S-Australia deal 'clumsy' ahead of meeting with Macron

President Biden was candid with the press ahead of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying the U.S submarine deal with Australia and the U.K was "clumsy."

"I think what happened was to use an English phrase, what we did was clumsy," Biden said when asked if the relationship between the two allies was repaired.

"It was not done with a lot of grace," Biden added

While sitting across from Macron at the French Embassy in Italy, Biden said he was "under the impression France had been informed before" the deal took place and reiterated that France "is an extremely valuable partner."

Biden says Pope called him a 'good catholic' amid criticism from U.S. bishops

During his meeting with Pope Francis, President Biden said the leaders did not discuss abortion rights.

"We just talked about the fact he was happy I was a good Catholic and keep receiving communion," Biden said.

This comes as the U.S. Conference of Bishops moved forward with a plan to allow bishops to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

Pope Francis has spoken out against this plan, saying bishops should hold a "pastoral" position rather than a political one.

"If we look at the history of the church, we will see that every time the bishops have not managed a problem as pastors, they have taken a political stance on a political problem," he told reporters during a trip to Hungary and Slovakia in September.

"What must the pastor do? Be a pastor, don't go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated," the Pope added.

Emmanuel Macron arrives in Rome ahead of meeting with Biden

French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Italy ahead of his highly anticipated meeting with President Biden.

This will be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since the U.S-Australia submarine caused diplomatic tensions between the two allies.

Macron and Biden had a 30-minute phone call after the deal. They decided to "open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives," according to a joint statement.

Macron met France's ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire at the French Embassy in Rome Friday.

Macron Arrives in Rome
(from L) French President Emmanuel Macron (L), France's ambassador to the USA Philippe Etienne, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire arrive at the French Embassy to the Vatican in Rome on October 29, 2021 ahead of a meeting with US President. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

Biden arrives to meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi

President Biden has finished his meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Biden and Mattarella
Italian President Sergio Mattarella (C-R) poses with US President Joe Biden upon his arrival for their meeting at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome on October 29, 2021, ahead of an upcoming G20 summit of world leaders to discuss climate change, covid-19 and the post-pandemic global recovery. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Biden has just arrived at his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi ahead of the G20 summit.

Biden and Draghi
Italy's Prime Minister, Mario Draghi (2ndR) and his wife Maria Serenella Cappello (R) greet greet US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden upon their arrival for their meeting at the Chigi palace in Rome on October 29, 2021, ahead of an upcoming G20 summit of world leaders to discuss climate change, covid-19 and the post-pandemic global recovery. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

Pope's meeting with Biden longer than meetings with the previous two presidents

President Biden's meeting with Pope Francis was longer than the Pope's meeting with the previous two U.S. presidents.

Biden and the Pope met for 90 minutes, according to the White House, while the Vatican reported the leaders met for 75 minutes.

This meeting was longer than the Pope's meeting with Former President Donald Trump. That 2017 meeting lasted 30 minutes.

Former President Barrack Obama met with the Pope for 52 minutes back in 2014.

Biden gifts Pope with a coin as a tribute to his late son, Beau

President Biden gifted Pope Francis a military coin with the state of Delaware and the 261st Unit his late son, Beau, served with on one side.

"I know my son would want me to give this to you," Biden said.

Biden also called Pope Francis "the most significant warrior for peace that I have ever known" and joked that "the tradition is...next time I see you [and] you don't have it, you have to buy the drinks"

The Bidens gifted the Pope with an embroidered vestment used by the Society of Jesus in the US, according to CNN's Delia Gallagher.

Biden Gifts Pope a Coin
President Joe Biden gifs Pope Francis with a coin as a tribute to Biden's late son Beau. Above, Pope Francis meets with U.S. President Joe Biden during an audience at the Apostolic Palace on October 29, 2021 in Vatican City, Vatican for talks on climate change and Covid-19 amid a debate whether President Biden should receive communion after his support for abortion rights. Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Biden and Pope had a 'warm' 90-minute meeting, White House says

President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis for 90 minutes Friday, the White House says.

According to a readout from the White House, Biden "thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world's poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution."

Biden also "lauded Pope Francis' leadership in fighting the climate crisis" and his advocacy for COVID-19 vaccine sharing and "an equitable global economic recovery."

The White House described the one-on-one meeting as "warm," and said "there was laughter and clear rapport between President Biden and the Pope," per CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

This meeting was almost twice as long as Biden's meeting with Pope John Paul II in 1980.

First picture of Biden-Pope visit released

Pope Francis meets President Biden
Pope Francis meets President Joe Biden at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City Vatican Pool/Getty Images

U.S. and U.K. hope to use G20 to ease tensions with France

President Biden will end today by meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in an effort to mend relations following a furious response to the AUKUS submarine deal last month.

Macron accused the U.S. of selfishness after the deal, saying "Americans first focus on themselves" after they struck a deal with the U.K. to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia - scrapping an existing multi-billion agreement with France.

Boris Johnson has an additional, more pressing, challenge with the French leader after a British fishing vessel was seized at a French port in the latest dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights.

Pope tweets about Cop26 following Biden meeting

Climate change can be faced with a renewed sense of shared responsibility for our world, and an effective solidarity based on justice, a sense of our common destiny and a recognition of the unity of our human family in God’s plan for the world. #Faiths4COP26

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 29, 2021

Which countries attend G20 summit?

Accounting for 75% of the world's trade and 60% of its population, the G20 is one of the largest and most consequential meetings world leaders have each year.

Its biggest players include the U.S., U.K., China, Russia, France, Germany, and the European Union. Other members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey.

Spain, Brunei, the Netherlands, Singapore, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are all guests at this year's summit.

Presidential motorcade arrives in Rome

Spectators lined the streets just minutes ago as the motorcade of President Biden rolled down the Via della Conciliazione in Rome towards the Vatican.

Spectators await Bidens motorcade outside Vatican
Bidens motorcade head to Vatican
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Full schedule of Biden's Friday meetings revealed

6am (ET) - Private audience with Pope Francis
6.55am (ET) - Bilateral with the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin
7.55am (ET) - Bilateral with President Mattarella of Italy
9.15am (ET) - Bilatetal with Prime Minister Draghi of Italy
10.15am (ET) - Bilateral with French President Macron

Where will Biden go after meeting Pope Francis?

Following the papal meeting, Biden will meet separately on Friday with G20 summit hosts Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

He will then spend the rest of the morning holding meetings with various world leaders ahead of the summit, including French President Emmanuel Macron, before preparing for a weekend of discussions about climate change, international relations, and other major world issues.

Vatican refuses to explain cancelation of live broadcast of Biden-Pope meeting

Footage of the meeting will now be limited to the arrival of Biden's motorcade at the Apostolic Palace, the Associated Press reports.

Though the Vatican said it would give edited footage of the meeting to accredited media, the move is the latest limit on media coverage of the Holy See.

FULL STORY: Vatican Offers No Explanation for Canceling Live Feed of Biden Meeting With Pope Francis

The meeting will still be going ahead at 12pm local time (6am ET/5am CT/4am MT/3am PT).

IN PICTURES: Joe and Jill Biden's overnight journey to Rome

The President and First Lady set off from the White House on Marine One yesterday afternoon, which took them to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

From the airport, the pair flew directly to Rome Fiumicino International Airport and landed in the early hours of this morning, where they were greeted by a diplomat and were escorted to their accommodation by a protection team.

Joe and Jill Biden trip to Rome
Joe and Jill Biden trip to Rome
Joe and Jill Biden trip to Rome
Joe and Jill Biden trip to Rome
Joe and Jill Biden trip to Rome

Biden prioritizes Pope meeting

The president - only the second to run the White House after JFK - is staying true to his Catholic faith after he insisted on meeting the Pope before other leaders at the G20 summit in Rome.

Biden professes to use his faith as a moral guidepost to shape social and economic policy, wears a rosary, and frequently attends Mass. Jen Psaki said she was confident the pair would get on well.

There's a great deal of agreement and overlap with the president and Pope Francis on a range of issues: poverty, combating the climate crisis, ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

Good morning and welcome to Newsweek's liveblog

Biden has a busy several days ahead, starting with a meeting with Pope Francis this morning and ending - hopefully - having agreed a deal with world leaders at the Cop26 climate change summit.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog throughout Friday for all the latest.