Published: Sat, November 10, 2018

Trump leaves for Paris with political headwinds back home

Trump leaves for Paris with political headwinds back home

"President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia", Trump tweeted.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the US subsidizes greatly", Trump said on Twitter as he arrived in France to meet with Macron.

Macron proposed, in an interview earlier this week, a "real European army" to protect against "China, Russia and even the United States of America".

"Confronted by Russian Federation, which is on our borders and which has shown itself willing to be threatening, we need to have a Europe that can better defend itself by itself and in a sovereign way, without depending exclusively on the United States", he said.

US President Donald Trump is shifting his post-election focus with a weekend trip to Paris, joining an global commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Trump's talks with Macron at Elysee Palace are likely to cover European concerns about Trump's plans to withdraw the United States from the 1980s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement and U.S. renewal of sanctions against Iran.

For Sunday's armistice anniversary, Mr. Trump was to join world leaders at a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe.


"I don't know that we're seeing each other in Paris, but we may", Mr Trump said.

"I don't think that this defense identity will start with an European Union army", Schinas said on Tuesday.

Mr. Trump and Macron's early relationship was marked by kisses, frequent meetings and marathon power handshakes.

The trip comes as the White House looks to grapple with a new political reality of Democrats taking the House in Tuesday's midterm elections and the fallout from the president's sudden firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Macron and other European leaders have repeatedly criticized Trump's efforts to undermine the deal, and have sought to create a special mechanism that would allow the bloc to avert US sanctions and continue trading with Iran. European leaders say maintaining trade ties is essential to keep Iran from exiting the deal and restarting development of nuclear weapons.

Trump has demanded that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries spend more on their own defense and has questioned whether the US should remain in the alliance. The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.

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