Published: Mon, April 23, 2018

U.S. should avoid 'trade war with allies': Macron

U.S. should avoid 'trade war with allies': Macron

To appease Trump, European capitals are working on a document that would amount to a political engagement to prevent Iran from returning to the nuclear path after the 2015 deal starts to expire. "He wants a great Russian Federation", added the French leader.

Macron will arrive in Washington, D.C., on Monday for the first official state visit of President Trump's presidency.

"We can not accept the European Union and France being hit by new tariffs", said Le Maire, replying to a question whether "temporary exemptions" would be pursued by Macron during his talks with Trump.

Macron also cited the shared goal of reining in Iran as he argued for a long-term USA commitment in Syria - where Paris and Washington have cooperated in fighting the Islamic State group and coordinated strikes on Syrian regime chemical weapons installations. "And that's why I think the USA role is very important to play".

"So I will give your President the oak, which is taken in a very symbolic, especially for your Marines in the North of France", promised the French leader.

He warned against leaving a vacuum in Syria once the war with Daesh is over, adding that it will most likely be filled by Iran and Bashar al-Assad.

Macron did call on Trump to abandon his recently announced steel and aluminum tariffs, or make an exemption for the European Union.

Macron also said the United States, France and other allies will have a "very important" role to play in rebuilding Syria after the war is over.

Relations between the U.S. and France have been strained since Trump started reconsidering past agreements and pushing his "America First" protectionist policies.

Macron will bring with him an oak sapling to be planted at the White House as a symbol of friendship.

There is concern that the discord between the USA and France is affecting the relationship between the United States and Europe, which has been strong since the end of World War Two.

On a personal level, despite sharp differences in political background, age and lifestyle, the presidents seem to have struck up a bond as fellow outsiders who outwitted the establishment to gain power.

He said he and Trump "have a very special relationship because both of us are probably the maverick of the systems on both sides".

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