News World Trump, Macron agree on European defense after European army spat

Trump, Macron agree on European defense after European army spat

France’s Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Saturday on the need for Europe to bear more of the burden for defense, papering over an earlier Trump tweet that described Macron’s call for a European army as “very insulting”.

Meeting for talks at the Elysee ahead of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Macron welcomed Trump with a firm handshake, but there appeared to be less immediate warmth between them than in the past.

Seated on gilded chairs, Macron placed his hand on Trump’s knee and referred to him as “my friend”, while Trump too sought to find common ground on an issue that has caused friction.

“We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us, and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want,” said Trump. “We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States.”

Macron echoed those sentiments, saying he wanted Europe to bear a greater share of the defense costs within NATO, a point he has made repeatedly since taking office, alongside calls for Europe to develop its own military capability.

“That’s why I do believe my proposals for European defense are totally consistent with that,” Macron said in English.

Fresh off U.S. congressional elections that saw his Republican Party’s power eroded, Trump is in Paris to bolster the U.S.-European alliance during the Armistice commemorations.

But in a tweet prior to landing in Paris on Friday, Trump took a dim view of comments Macron made in a Europe 1 radio interview this week.

Discussing the threat from cyber-hacking and outside meddling in the electoral process, Macron said Europe needed to protect itself against China, Russia “and even the United States”.

Later in the interview he spoke about the need for a European army, saying:

“Faced by Russia, which is on our borders and which has shown that it can be threatening… we need to have a Europe that can better defend itself by itself, without depending solely on the United States.”

Trump, who has pushed NATO allies to pay more for their common defense and not rely so heavily on the United States, complained.

“Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly,” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump and Macron are set to hold around an hour of bilateral talks before they are joined by their wives, Melania and Brigitte, for lunch at the Elysee Palace.
It is the second time the four have dined together in Paris.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Virgin Orbit fails first rocket launch attempt from modified plane

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit company aborted its first attempt to launch a rocket into space from the belly of a 747 airplane on Monday,...

Cyprus to deport 17 migrants suspected of terror links

  Cyprus will deport 17 migrants who are being held on suspicion of having links to extremist groups or involved in acts of terror, the...

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Latest update: 26/05/2020 08:23 European countries need to join forces to shield their banks, one of the bloc's top regulators said, potentially using a 500...

Fujifilm research into COVID-19 drug spills into June, dashing hope of May approval

    Research into Fujifilm Holdings Corp's Avigan  (generic name Favipiravir) will continue into June, Japan's government said on Tuesday, effectively dashing hopes by Prime Minister...

Paphos: Nicosia bakery robbery suspect arrested

  After a week on the run, a 33 year old man wanted in connection with a robbery in Nicosia has been arrested in the...

Taste

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...

Honey Balls

As you stroll down Onasagorou street in the old city of Nicosia and suddenly feel the need for something sweet, follow the smell of...

Octopus with Oregano

Ingredients: (Serves 4) 1 kg octopus ½ tsp dry oregano Pepper 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice Preparation: Clean the octopus thoroughly under cold running water. Place the octopus...

Fish meatballs

In a bowl, mix the finely chopped onion and parsley. Boil the fish, cut into small pieces and add to the bowl. Add salt...