Af­ter spat, Trump, Macron agree on ‘ Euro­pean Army’

US Pres­i­dent slams French coun­ter­part Macron’s plan for Euro­pean Army

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

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,

US Pres­i­dent

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.

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