Trump, Macron seek to dif­fuse ten­sion be­fore WWI an­niver­sary

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

PARIS (AP) — United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron yes­ter­day sought to dif­fuse ten­sions over com­ments by both lead­ers that threat­ened to cast a shadow over a week­end cel­e­bra­tion mark­ing 100 years since the end of World War I.

The Amer­i­can and French lead­ers, who have had some­what of an up-and­down re­la­tion­ship, worked to project unity of opin­ion over whether Eu­rope should cre­ate an army of its own.

Their meet­ing got off to a testy start. Trump un­leashed an an­gry Twit­ter jab at his French host as he ar­rived in France late Fri­day. He tweeted that Macron “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 sub­si­dizes greatly!”

Macron’s of­fice said Trump mis­un­der­stood Macron’s com­ments.

The lead­ers met yes­ter­day at the El­y­see Palace and, asked about the tweet, Trump said Macron “un­der­stand(s) that the United States can only do so much,” adding that the US wants to help. Trump added that he and Macron are “get­ting along from the stand­point of fair­ness.”

Macron de­fended his view­point, say­ing, “I do share Pres­i­dent Trump’s views that we need a much bet­ter bur­den shar­ing with NATO and that’s why I do be­lieve that my pro­posal for a Eu­ro­pean de­fense” is “ut­terly con­sis­tent with that.”

AP

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron meet at the El­y­see Palace in Paris yes­ter­day. Trump is join­ing other world lead­ers at cen­ten­nial com­mem­o­ra­tions in Paris this week­end to mark the end of World War I.

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