Trump slams Macron for ‘insulting’ plan to build up Europe’s military

As Air Force One landed in Paris on Friday night, Trump wrote on Twitter he had been "very" insulted by comments Macron made in the days before that he considered anti-American.

Nicholas Soames - a Parliament member in the United Kingdom and the grandson of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, according to The Hill - also tweeted criticism of the president. At that time, Trump called such a notion "very insulting", adding that Europe should first repay Washington for "subsidizing" its defense through North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Elysee said the misunderstanding, which it said had been caused by "exaggerated" United States press reports, was cleared up during more than an hour of talks it described as "substantial" and "very constructive".

Thomas Wright, a Europe expert at the Brookings Institution, noted that Trump announced he was going to France on a whim in August after abruptly canceling his order for the Pentagon to stage a parade. It's the site of a 1918 battle in which the American and French repelled German forces.

Macron, 40, an ardent defender of a closer Europe, has turned to Merkel to help him forge deeper economic integration within the EU's single currency bloc, as well as more collaboration on matters such as defense and immigration.

"My mood is pretty grim", he said, adding that part of the problem was that Macron and Merkel, the biggest counterforces internationally to right-wing nationalism, were both weakened figures.

President Macron argued isolating Iran the way Mr Trump had would only create more conflicts.

A group of volunteers have worked to get 100 saplings for the four-acre park to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The French President told France's Europe 1 radio: "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States".

Trump reciprocated Macron's warm tone, telling the French leader that we "have become very good friends" and that the two countries "have much in common in many ways". But he also made clear that the USA was not disengaging, declaring "we want to help".

Others were not sure that the feeling that Macron has for Trump is mutual, referring to the U.S. president's facial expression. Later, Macron reiterated that Europe needs to build up its own military because it can no longer depend on the US for defense.

In another snarky tweet, Trump minion SeNator Lindsey Graham said he would "like to remind President Macron that throughout his handsome country there are thousands of graves filled with American soldiers who gave their lives to help liberate France - not conquer France".

The two men are meeting in Paris on Saturday, and Macron's office says this issue will be on the table.

An official in the French presidency said on Saturday the two leaders held a "very constructive" bilateral meeting in the French capital, which came hours after a scathing tweet by Trump on Macron's suggestion.

Trump's tweet just after landing in Paris that was highly critical of Macron is expected to strain the US-French relationship.

Adesina disclosed that the Nigerian President would join the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and other world leaders in discussing contributions towards global peace while underscoring the imperative of collective action.

Vanessa Coleman

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