US leader ends French visit, say­ing re­la­tion­ship is ‘stronger than ever’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

PARIS — US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump watched US and French sol­diers march to­gether through the Paris sun­shine on Fri­day in a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion mark­ing 100 years since the United States en­tered World War I and France’s an­nual Bastille Day hol­i­day.

The oc­ca­sion, also fea­tur­ing a bi­na­tional fly-past of fighter jets sym­bol­iz­ing mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion in the Mid­dle East and else­where, fol­lowed a day of talks with French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, a first ladies’ tour of Paris, and a din­ner for the four at a restau­rant in the Eif­fel Tower.

“Great evening with Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron & Mrs Macron. Went to Eif­fel Tower for din­ner. Re­la­tion­ship with France stronger than ever,” Trump said in a tweet.

The cer­e­monies bring to an end a visit Macron needs as a boost to France’s stand­ing on the world stage — one which could also help a US leader left short of in­ter­na­tional friends by his stance on free trade and cli­mate change.

Trump, also dogged at home by an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the US elec­tion last year, said he would in­vite Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin to the White House but added that now was not the right time for that.

Also, he ap­peared on Thurs­day to leave the door open for more talks on the Paris ac­cord which he pulled the US out of ear­lier this year.

Mil­i­tary might

Macron ar­rived stand­ing in a mil­i­tary jeep and sur­rounded by cav­alry — re­peat­ing a scene from his inau­gu­ra­tion two months ago and re­in­forc­ing the mes­sage that he heads an im­por­tant mil­i­tary power.

The scene also serves as a re­minder of a fierce row that erupted this week be­tween Macron and his armed-forces chief, Gen­eral Pierre de Villers, over pro­posed bud­get cuts for the de­fense min­istry.

Trump ar­rived with his wife Me­la­nia in a black sedan.

At the pa­rade, the two heads of state sat to­gether in a stand ap­plaud­ing, point­ing and touch­ing each other on the arm as mil­i­tary air­craft flew over­head. Trump saluted as mil­i­tary per­son­nel — some in World War I bat­tle­dress — filed past with the Arc de Tri­om­phe in the back­ground.

For France, this year’s Bas- tille Day has an ad­di­tional poignancy as the first an­niver­sary of one of the dead­li­est ex­trem­ist mil­i­tant at­tacks of the past few years.

Af­ter the pa­rade, his first as pres­i­dent, Macron will head for the Mediter­ranean city of Nice, where he will join a com­mem­o­ra­tion for the 86 peo­ple who died when a Tu­nisian man drove a truck at a crowd on the water­front a year ago.


The US Air Force Thun­der­birds fly over the Arc de Tri­om­phe du Car­rousel dur­ing the tra­di­tional Bastille Day mil­i­tary pa­rade in Paris, France, on Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.