US weighs in on Anglo-French D-Day kerfuffle

31st May 2009, Comments 0 comments

The United States waded into the murky waters of an Anglo-French diplomatic ruckus Friday, supporting the presence of Britain's Queen Elizabeth at an upcoming D-Day remembrance event in Normandy.

WASHINGTON - The United States waded into the murky waters of an Anglo-French diplomatic ruckus Friday, supporting the presence of Britain's Queen Elizabeth at an upcoming D-Day remembrance event in Normandy.

The White House, jettisoning a long-vaunted US reluctance to enter the squabbles of European courts, said it would like to see the British monarch attend the event on 6 June, when President Barack Obama will be present.

"I think that there is no doubt her contribution and her presence would be important," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, telling reporters "we are not in charge of the guests list, I can assure you that."

The D-Day celebrations mark the anniversary of the allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany, in 1944 that marked a vital turning point in the course of World War II.

Buckingham Palace said it was not invited to the 65th anniversary commemorations, as one London newspaper reported "Palace Fury At D-Day Snub To Queen."

The British royal family has indicated that none of its members will attend the event, absent an invitation.

France has insisted Elizabeth II would be welcome to attend the ceremony, denying reports that she had been overlooked.

Paris said an invitation had been extended to the British government and it was up to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to decide who would attend.

"The Queen of England, as British head of state, is naturally welcome," said French government spokesman Luc Chatel.

"It's not up to France to decide who will represent Britain," he said.

AFP / Expatica

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