Trump, Macron agree on European defence
PARIS: France’s Emmanuel Macron and United States President Donald Trump agreed yesterday on the need for Europe to bear more of the burden for defence, papering over an earlier Trump tweet that described Macron’s call for a European army as “very insulting”.
Meeting for talks at the Elysee ahead of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, Macron welcomed Trump with a firm handshake, but there appeared to be less immediate warmth between them than in the past.
Seated on gilded chairs, Macron placed his hand on Trump’s knee and referred to him as “my friend”, while Trump sought to find common ground on an issue that had caused friction.
“We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us, and whichever way we can do it the best and efficient would be something we both want,” said Trump.
“We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now, the burden sharing has been on the US.”
Macron echoed those sentiments, saying he wanted Europe to bear a greater share of the defence costs within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a point he had made repeatedly since taking office, alongside calls for Europe to develop its own military capability.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in Paris yesterday.