President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron mended fences and met as friends in Paris on Saturday.
There was a slight speed bump in the diplomatic trip when Trump announced via Twitter that he wasn’t happy about comments Macron made about France’s possible need to defend itself against U.S. military action.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”
President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
The president’s tweet was in response to comments made by Macron earlier this week on Europe 1 radio.
The French leader suggested it was time for a “true European army,” citing Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Macron said, according to AFP.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” he said. “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.”
However, the presidential pair seemed to have mended fences by the time they met at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Saturday.
The two men were very cordial when they spoke in front of reporters at their meeting, with Macron calling his American counterpart “my good friend.”
“Our people are very proud to have you here, and I want to thank you here today for your solidarity 100 years ago, and your constant solidarity for precisely our people,” he said, referring to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“Well, I very much appreciate that, Mr. President,” Trump responded. “And we have become very good friends over the last couple of years. We have much in common in many ways — perhaps more ways than people would understand.”
“We want a strong Europe”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 10, 2018
Trump said Macron “understands that the United States can only do so much” and noted that the U.S. wants to help.
His French counterpart agreed, saying, “I do share President Trump’s views that we need a much better burden-sharing with NATO, and that’s why I do believe that my proposal for a European defense (is) utterly consistent with that.”
Trump added, “You know what my attitude’s been, and we want a strong Europe. It’s very important to us to have a strong Europe. And whichever way we can do it the best and most efficient would be something we both want.”
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