CAEN, FRANCE - The D-Day commemoration was an occasion for France to showcase its long friendship with the United States, but U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron nevertheless acknowledged their differences on key world issues when they met Thursday. The two leaders showed camaraderie as they marked D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery near Omaha Beach, where the Americans landed on June 6, 1944, marking the beginning of the end of Europe's Nazi occupation. Trump praised Macron's poignant speech of gratitude -- and they even briefly hugged. They seemed more tense, however, as they started their one-on-one meeting later. "We're doing a lot together and the relationship between you and I and also the United States and France has been outstanding," Trump said ahead of the meeting in the city of Caen.
When French President Emmanuel Macron flew into Riyadh for hastily arranged talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in November it was all smiles in public, but in private, a tough dialogue over Iran signaled a change between the allies. Whether that was a momentary tiff or a longer-lasting complication may become clear when Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Paris on Sunday for a two-day visit that will focus on the crises in Yemen, Syria and Qatar and the Iran nuclear deal. After trips to Britain and the United States with major contracts envisaged, the prince, or MBS as he is also known, will attend cultural events, political meetings and an economic forum. While a tourism project between the two countries will be announced, MBS is not expected to clinch any mega-deals. French officials dismiss any notion that the absence of huge contracts reflects any weakening in the relationship, saying they seek a new "method" of working with the world's largest oil exporter that does not depend on eye-catching new business.
In a string of Tuesday morning tweets, President Donald Trump tore into French President Emmanuel Macron, appeared to mock France for both its World War losses, and accused the French of both engaging in unfair trade practices and being "more Nationalist" than any other country in the world. The diatribe concluded with the president defending his internationally condemned decision to skip a ceremony honoring fallen American World War I soldiers as a part of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on Saturday. Trump appeared to lay the blame on Secret Service officials for the decision. Together, the tweets emerged as a presidential response to a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday in which he denounced nationalism as a "betrayal of patriotism." The remarks were widely seen as a veiled rebuke of Trump's very public embrace of nationalism.
Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday two long-time allies like France and the US should treat each other with respect and that France was Washington's ally, but not a vassal state. The French president's remarks came after US President Donald Trump attacked Macron and France over its near defeat to Germany in two world wars, its wine industry and Macron's approval ratings. Trump's blows came in five tweets posted on Tuesday after his visit to France for the centenary of the end of World War I, during which Macron pushed his proposals for an EU army and said France has to protect itself with "respect to China, Russia and even the United States". Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Macron "suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Trump implied Macron made the comments to distract from his low approval rating, which sits at 29 percent, according to an French Institute of Public Opinion poll released in late September. The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject. By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!........ The US president's approval rating is not far ahead. Trump's weekly average approval rating from November 5 to 11 sat at 38 percent, with a term average of 39 percent, according to Gallup. Macron opted not to respond to Trump's Twitter challenges. "I don't think the French expect me to respond to tweets," he told TF1 in an interview on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. Trump was only playing to a domestic audience, Macron said. "I think he's playing politics, and I let him play politics." The French leader pointed to historic support between the two countries. France played an important role in the US War of Independence and the US supported France during two world wars. "At every moment of our history, we were allies, so between allies, respect is due," Macron said Asked about his suggestion to build a European army, Macron said: "The United States [is] our historic ally and will continue to be.
NEW YORK – Gone is the shoulder squeezing, the affectionate dandruff-brushing -- and French President Emmanuel Macron's hope that he could use his unlikely friendship with Donald Trump to rein in the American president's more incendiary instincts. When the two men met Monday in New York, they shook hands lightly and got down to the tasks at hand. They agreed to disagree on the Iranian nuclear accord and Trump's protectionist policies and one-sided support for Israel, according to two French presidential advisers. The businesslike mood contrasted with Trump's fawning over Macron at a state dinner in April, and Macron's lavish Eiffel Tower welcome for the Trumps last year. Hours after their meeting, the two men laid out starkly different worldviews in speeches at the U.N. General Assembly.