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Biden watches World Cup semi with Morocco PM

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US President Joe Biden speaks at the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington./AFP
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Dec 15, 2022 - 07:59 AM

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden on Wednesday saluted Morocco’s achievement as the first African and Arab country in the World Cup semi-finals as he watched the match alongside its prime minister.

Biden, not known for being punctual or concise, was keenly aware of the history-making World Cup match against France as he delivered a speech to nearly 50 heads of state gathered for a US-Africa summit in Washington.

“I know you’re saying to yourselves, make it short, Biden, there’s a semi-final game coming up. I get it,” he said to laughter and applause.

He quipped that he saw climate envoy John Kerry, a well-known fan of soccer, nodding in agreement.

Biden stayed true to his word, wrapping up shortly after kickoff.

He then watched the match with Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch and several other leaders attending the summit at central Washington’s convention center.

Posting a picture afterward in which he looked intensely at the screen with his guests, Biden said it was a “great honor” to watch the match together.

“No matter who you’re rooting for, it was remarkable to watch how much this team has been able to achieve,” Biden wrote on Twitter.

Morocco wound up losing to France, one of the closest US allies, whose President Emmanuel Macron paid a state visit two weeks ago.

The United States was eliminated earlier in the tournament by The Netherlands.

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