Trump says Macron’s call for European Army ‘very insulting’

Lamar Ellis
November 10, 2018

A coalition of ten European militaries ready to defend the continent's borders has been unveiled in Paris, just days after Emmanuel Macron called for a "real European army".

"We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States".

As a prelude to Sunday's ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, which will be attended by dozens of world leaders, Trump and Macron are to meet on Saturday at Elysee Palace to discuss European and Mideast security.

Speaking to reporters Friday before his departure Trump said he was "looking forward" to the trip. Mr. Trump has railed against trade deals with the European Union and has criticized some EU nations, including France, for not spending enough to defense to sustain North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the decades-old Western alliance formed as a bulwark to Moscow's aggression.

"When I see President Trump announcing that he's quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim?"

It's a sign of the increasingly different view Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron have towards multilateral institutions.

Earlier this summer, Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Europe, which retaliated with similar duties on American products including bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is a long-time supporter of the idea the European Union should have more common defense capability.

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Later in the interview he spoke about the need for a European army.

The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran over European opposition, blacklisting hundreds of Iranian firms and individuals. Trump stared at the journalists but did not respond before entering the presidential limousine.

Fresh off US congressional elections that saw his Republican Party's power erode, Trump is spending the weekend in Paris to bolster the US-European alliance at World War One remembrance ceremonies. That effort hasn't yet yielded results, and the Trump administration has warned that countries hosting a so-called "special goal vehicle" to subvert the sanctions could face penalties themselves.

The last time the Macrons hosted the Trumps in Paris in July 2017, during Bastille Day celebrations, they whisked them up the Eiffel Tower for a private dinner on the second floor.

The White House and the Kremlin had previously considered a formal meeting in Paris.

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

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