Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump, arriving in Paris, lashes out at Macron over defense remarks

Trump, arriving in Paris, lashes out at Macron over defense remarks

U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out - erroneously - at French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, saying it was "very insulting" for him to suggest Europe should create its own army to protect itself from potential adversaries.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the U.S. subsidises greatly".

Coming just days after Macron called for a "real European army" to reduce dependence on the United States, and with the vocal support of senior figures in Brussels, the coalition agreement will once again raising the spectre of a European Army.

"Confronted by Russian Federation, which is on our borders and which has shown itself willing to be threatening, we need to have a Europe that can better defend itself by itself and in a sovereign way, without depending exclusively on the United States", he said.

Mr. Trump and Macron's early relationship was marked by kisses, frequent meetings and marathon power handshakes.

As president, Trump has repeatedly chastised North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for failing to spend more on defence, and has suggested that the US was growing disinterested in "paying for Europe's protection" any longer.


"At some point in time, probably down at the end of this process, we may see something that people already describe as an EU army or an EU pooling of resources to make this EU defense identity more visible and more meaningful", Schinas said. "We must have a Europe that can defend itself more, without just relying on the U.S".

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have departed Washington for a weekend in Paris, where world leaders are gathering to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I.

Trump has criticized existing European tariffs and regulations on autos, and has said he believes it's unfair that barriers are higher for American auto manufacturers seeking to sell in Europe.

In addition to his meetings with Macron, Trump is expected to visit the Belleau Wood battlefield and American cemetery on Saturday, and speak at a Veterans Day ceremony Sunday at the Suresnes American Cemetery. "And we look forward to that", Mr. Trump told reporters Friday before leaving the White House. European leaders say maintaining trade ties is essential to keep Iran from exiting the deal and restarting development of nuclear weapons. The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.

But the relationship-building failed to persuade Trump to remain in the global climate change agreement or Iran deals and did nothing to protect France from United States tariffs.

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