Trump "insulted" by Macron's proposal for European army

10 November, 2018, 14:52 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • French President Emmanuel Macron chairs a cabinet meeting in Charleville-Mezieres northeastern France Wednesday Nov.7 2018

Macron went on to make the case for a "true European army" that would give Europe strategic autonomy, meaning that it would no longer have to depend on the U.S. for its security.

The US president tweeted after arriving in Paris ahead of an worldwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron headed towards a potential clash in talks on Saturday after Trump took offence at what he called a "very insulting" comment from Macron about the need to create a European army. "Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the USA subsidizes greatly!"

Earlier this week, Macron said in an interview with Europe 1 that he wanted "a real European army" to protect the Europeans from the USA and other nations.

Trump, who is in the French capital for the centenary commemorations, tweeted that he was "getting ready to celebrate the end of World War One".

He is also overseeing the formation of a European rapid reaction force, a nine-country endeavour much smaller than an actual army, which is backed by Germany and the UK.

No sooner had Trump touched down in Paris for a weekend of commemorations to mark the end of World War 1, than he fired off a tweet castigating his host over proposals to endow the European Union with its own, joint army.

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The relationship between Trump and Macron, once described as a "bromance", has long since soured amid the USA imposing steep tariffs on EU imports and threatening European businesses with secondary sanctions for dealing with Iran.

White House officials have said that Mr Trump would make clear the importance of America to European safety and security while on his trip.

But the idea of a European army has limited support in Berlin and London. "Europe and its security", Macron said.

Trump wasted no time taking a poke at his French host Friday as he arrived in Paris.

"I don't think we have anything scheduled in Paris and I'm coming back very quickly", the president said. Although leaders like Mr Macron will not likely take kindly to the tone in the USA president's tweet.

Trump's recent decision to get the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) became another wedge driving European powerhouses and the USA even further apart. It was an Armistice- that is they stopped fighting because the whole world was exhausted.

The two men are meeting in Paris on Saturday, and Macron's office says this issue will be on the table.

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