Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Trump in Paris slams Macron’s ‘insulting’ European Union army proposals

Trump in Paris slams Macron’s ‘insulting’ European Union army proposals

The US President Donald Trump has criticised a suggestion by President Macron of France for a joint European army as "very insulting".

Trump will see Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the first time since their summit earlier this year in Helsinki, though White House officials downplayed the encounter, saying Trump doesn't plan extensive talks with Putin over a weekend that mostly will be devoted to ceremonies. But he also made clear that the USA was not disengaging, declaring "we want to help".

Trump is joining other world leaders at centennial commemorations in Paris this weekend to mark the end of World War I.

French President Emmanuel Macron is defending his push for more robust European defense in a meeting with President Donald Trump.

Discussing the threat from cyber-hacking and meddling from outside in the electoral process, Macron said Europe needed to protect itself against China, Russia and even the United States.

US President Donald Trump Saturday said the suggestion of his French counterpart Emanuel Macron that Europe should build its own army was "very insulting", asserting that Europe should first pay its "fair share" to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"Who is the main victim?"

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The president and first lady Melania Trump were expected to visit several memorial sites in France that are dedicated to American service members. Europe, he said in Tuesday's Europe 1 radio interview, must reduce its dependence on USA after Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

"I am in Paris getting ready to celebrate the end of World War One".

Macron and other European leaders have repeatedly criticized Trump's efforts to undermine the deal, and have sought to create a special mechanism that would allow the bloc to avert US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

The trip comes following a wild week of news - two mass shootings, a midterm drubbing that saw Democrats make massive gains in the House, and the forced resignation of his embattled attorney general - and President Trump will try and use the world stage to reset his agenda while bolstering his presidential standing with two days of largely ceremonial events.

The dividends of Macron's cultivation of Trump are "modest at best", said Stewart M. Patrick, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

On Saturday afternoon, Mr Macron will meet Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in the town of Compiegne in northern France, where the Allies and Germany signed the Armistice.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump will also visit the American cemetery in Belleau, France, on Saturday to pay their respects to USA soldiers who died on French soil during the war.

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