King Charles III is to visit fire-damaged Notre-Dame cathedral on day 2 of his visit to France

PARIS (AP) — King Charles III praised France and the United Kingdom’s “indispensable relationship” and its capacity to meet the world’s challenges, including the war in Ukraine and climate change, in an address Thursday to French lawmakers.

On the second day of his state visit to France, Charles also met with sports groups in the northern suburbs of Paris and was scheduled to pay a visit to fire-damaged Notre-Dame cathedral.

The king received a warm welcome from French lawmakers from both the upper and lower houses of parliament gathered at the Senate, who stood and applauded him at length.

The partnership between the two nations “remains utterly vital as together we confront the challenges of this world,” he said, switching from French to English. “The United Kingdom will always be one of France’s closest allies and best friends.”

“Our determination and our alliance are more important than ever” in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he added. “ Together, we are steadfast in our determination Ukraine will triumph, and that our cherished freedoms will prevail.”

Charles offered to adapt the Franco-British “Entente Cordiale,” a 1904 series of agreements that settled former disputes and significantly improved relations, into an “entente for sustainability in order to tackle the global climate and biodiversity emergency more effectively.”

“There’s no challenge we can’t meet, as we have so often done in the past,” he said.

The king’s emphasis on climate change came a day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced he was watering down some of Britain’s climate commitments, including pushing back a ban on new gas and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035.

Charles and Queen Camilla then headed to Saint-Denis, north of Paris, to meet community sports groups and stars as France currently hosts the Rugby World Cup. Saint-Denis, a multicultural, working-class suburb, will serve as a major venue in next year’s Olympics.

Charles chatted with young athletes while Camilla exchanged a few balls with Prithika Pavade, a 19-year-old French table tennis player.

The king also met with the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who gave him the club’s No 3 jersey and explained the club’s involvement in supporting young people and communities in difficulty.

Charles and Camilla briefly visited the basilica of Saint-Denis, which houses the tombs of French kings.

The royal couple’s trip started Wednesday with a ceremony at Arc de Triomphe in Paris and a state dinner at the Palace of Versailles.

On Thursday afternoon, Charles will visit the Paris flower market named after his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II and rejoin Macron in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral to see the ongoing renovation work aimed at reopening the monument by the end of next year, after it was devastated by a fire in 2019.

“I look forward to visiting that magnificent cathedral … to see how centuries-old crafts have been revived and passed onto apprentices who are helping to restore Notre-Dame to its former glory,” he said in Versailles.

Charles and Macron will also attend a reception for British and French business leaders about financing climate-related and biodiversity projects.

The king will end his trip on Friday with a stop in Bordeaux, the southwestern city that is home to a large British community.


AP Writers Jill Lawless and Danica Kirka in London contributed to the story.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top