In his first state visit to France, US President Donald Trump said the “friendship” between France and US was “unbreakable.” Trump also said the two nations have “occasional disagreements” but that doesn’t disrupt a friendly association that dates back to the American Revolution. The 71-year-old leader had a lot on his plate during the meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is a staunch supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement– a deal Trump decided to pull out of last month. During a joint appearance, Macron and Trump took note of their policy differences while mentioning that “it’s important to keep communicating” as the two nations shared “major common goals.”
Trump claimed the Paris accord is too lenient on leading polluters like China and India which adversely affects US industry, reported France 24. The US President also said that America was committed to protecting the environment. “Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We’ll see what happens,” he said during a press conference. Trump also said if it doesn’t happen, “that will be OK too.”
This leaves open the possibility of him reconsidering the decision to pull US out of the Paris climate agreement. Trump’s move had sparked outrage across Europe and anti-Trump protests have been planned while he is in Paris. During the recent G20 Summit in Hamburg, Trump was visibly isolated as the 19 other member nations signed a policy blueprint to implement Paris accord.
Trump’s visit, which coincides with Bastille Day celebrations on Friday, was also marked with talks on joint efforts to tackle terrorism in the Middle East and Africa. According to France 24, Macron said the two world leaders discussed how to combat “a global threat with enemies who are trying to destabilise us.” In the recent past, France has witnessed multiple terror attacks including the Nice terror attack during the Bastille Day celebrations last year.
This year Trump will be a part of the celebrated National Day parade as its guest of honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US entry into World War I. Friday’s parade will be opened by US troops. A day earlier, Trump remembered how France helped “us secure our independence.” He also honoured American World War II veterans during a ceremony at the US Embassy in Paris.
Trump also got embroiled in a controversy after he commented on the appearance of the French First Lady Brigitte Macron. In a video posted by the French government on Facebook, Trump, Macron, Melania and Brigitte can be seen talking to each other after the tour of the museums at Les Invalides. The footage shows Trump turning to Brigitte and telling her: “You’re in such good shape.” He reiterates the observation to the French president before turning back to the French first lady, and remarking: “Beautiful.” The comment was called out as sexist by many on social media.
While briefly speaking on the scandal due to Donald Trump Jr’s communication with Russian sources, the US President said “most people would have taken that meeting” while maintaining that his son is a “wonderful young man.” He also said the Russian national involved wasn’t a Kremlin lawyer despite the emails shared by his son pitched her as one.
Macron and his wife later hosted a dinner for Trump and Melania at Eiffel Tower’s Jules Verne restaurant which is accessible only by private elevator and is 120 meters above ground. Macron said the meal would be a “dinner among friends.” The tower closed early Thursday afternoon ahead of the presidential visit.