President Joe Biden will host French President Emmanuel Macron for the first state dinner

President Joe Biden will have a state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron in December, the White House reported Monday.

The dinner, scheduled for Dec. 1, will be the first state visit hosted by Biden after right around two years in office. The deferral is to some extent a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic, White House representative Karine Jean-Pierre said during a Monday briefing.

“Covid certainly has delayed many of the in-person events a president traditionally hosts at the White House,” Jean-Pierre said.

The visit from President Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, “will underscore the deep and enduring relationship between the United States and France, our oldest ally” Jean-Pierre said. “Our close relationship with France is founded on our shared democratic values, economic ties and defense and security cooperation. The leaders will discuss our continued close partnership on shared global challenges and areas of bilateral interest.”

Biden and Macron have met beforehand, including recently at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and have worked intently on various issues, for example, the war in Ukraine, Jean-Pierre said.

Macron was likewise the first foreign leader to attend to a state dinner during former President Donald Trump’s administration, visiting with his wife in 2018.