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Boris Johnson has hosted Emmanuel Macron at 10 Downing Street on the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s “Appel”, which is considered to be the moment that gave birth to the French Resistance in the Second World War.
It is the first international trip the current French president has made since lockdown came into force in France to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier on Thursday Macron joined Britain’s Prince Chalres in laying a wreath at a statue of Charles de Gaulle in London.
De Gaulle is credited with starting the French Resistance with his Appel (appeal) on 18 June 1940. He made the appeal from London via a BBC broadcast, calling on his countrymen to continue the fight against Nazi Germany, which had at that point conquered France.
In his address, de Gaulle said: “I, General de Gaulle, currently in London, call upon the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who might end up here, with their weapons or without their weapons … to get in touch with me,” De Gaulle said. “Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.”
Inside the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street Macron and Johnson took a look at documents and artefacts related to former French president Charles de Gaulle.