Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Germany wary of France's European defence initiative

Germany wary of France's European defence initiative

An official in President Macron's office said President Trump lumped together two different comments by the French president, and that the comments would be on the table for Saturday's meeting.

His fractious, destabilizing relationship with Europe has driven a wedge between the USA and some of its oldest allies on issues including trade, defense spending and his seeming deference to their looming neighbor to the east, Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Macron should be more appreciative of what America has done for France and for all of Europe in the past 100 years.

"We want to help Europe but it has to be fair".

Mrs Merkel became the first German leader since World War Two to visit the forest near the town of Compiègne in northern France where the Armistice was signed.

When Trump was asked about his tweeted declaration about being insulted, he said, "We're getting along from the standpoint of fairness".

Macron attempted to smoothe over the divisions, saying he shared Trump´s view on the need for Europe to boost defence spending.

"Donald Trump complained about having to stand in the rain, to speak about the massacre in Pittsburgh, because it messed his hair up (more)", the VoteVets veterans lobby group tweeted. Macron affectionately took Merkel's hand after they signed a guestbook. "Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States".


Nearly 10 million soldiers died.

According to the plan, the initiative would include the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Portugal, Finland, France, and Germany in a pan-European army that would be able to act as a rapid response force both inside and outside of continental Europe.

Yet, despite a war that was supposed to end all wars, World War II pitted both sides against each other once again in 1940.

Central to those efforts is the inaugural Paris Peace Forum, a gathering of heads of state, government officials, heads of global organizations, corporations, academics, philanthropists and others beginning Sunday.

The pair met in Paris ahead of the World War 1 Armistice Day commemoration event on Sunday. The drive took about 90 minutes each way.

Tweeting early on Saturday morning, he remarked: "Is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war, in particular that one, which was one of the bloodiest and worst of all time?"

That was the case for Trump, who rather than visit the battlefield, opted instead to send Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford in his stead, citing "scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather".

The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial commemorates one of the most horrific American engagements of World War I - the Battle of Belleau Wood. Trump's litany of complaints against several democratic countries, even as he coddles a dictators and monarchs, is seen as an indication of his own longing for a totalitarian dispensation in the US.

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