After spat, Trump, Macron agree on ‘ European Army’
US President slams French counterpart Macron’s plan for European Army
Paris, Nov. 10: Hours after US President Donald Trump set a combative tone for a World War I commemorative visit to Paris on Saturday, by terming French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a European Army to defend against threats from powers including the US, as “very insulting”, the two Presidents agreed on the need for more European defense spending. Meeting for talks at the Elysee, Mr Macron welcomed Mr Trump under rainy Parisian skies with a firm handshake. But there appeared to be less immediate warmth in the greeting between the two than in the past.
“We want a strong Europe… We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the US,” said Mr Trump.
Within minutes of landing in Paris, Mr Trump had tweeted, “President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of Nato, which the US subsidises greatly!”
Europe should first pay its fair share of Nato, which the US subsidizes greatly! — Donald Trump,
Paris, Nov. 10: US President Donald Trump set a combative tone for a World War- I commemorative visit to Paris on Saturday when he blasted calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for a European army to defend against threats from powers including the US.
No sooner had Trump touched down in Paris for a weekend of events to mark the end of WW- I — including a meeting with Macron — than he fired off a tweet castigating his host over proposals to endow the EU with its own, joint army.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia,” the US president tweeted late Friday, referring to remarks made by Macron three days earlier.
“Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!,” he added.
Trump, who is visiting France with his wife Melania for the second time since becoming president, was referring to a call made by Macron in an interview on Tuesday for a “real European army.”
Macron, an ardent advocate of closer European integration, said a joint European Union military force was needed to wean Europe off American might, not least after Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold Warera nuclear treaty.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the US,” he told the Europe 1 broadcaster, suggesting for the first time that Europe might need to defend itself from America. The French president, who has enacted major defence spending hikes to bring France in line with NATO spending targets, is spearheading the creation of a ninecountry European rapid reaction force, independent from NATO. The force, which would fall far short of an army in size and scope, would be able to rapidly mount a joint military operation, evacuate civilians from a war zone or provide aid after a natural disaster.