Macron snubs U.S. arms in defence spat with Trump

Hugh Fox
November 11, 2018

After his meeting with Macron, Trump had been scheduled to head to the battlefield of Belleau Wood, 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of the capital, where USA troops had their breakthrough battle by stopping a German push for Paris shortly after entering the war in 1917.

As the pair met in Paris on Saturday morning, President Macron appeared to justify his statement by claiming he would like the European Union to take its share of the burden when it comes to the defence of its member states.

The decision prompted a rash of criticism on Twitter, with Nicholas Soames, a British member of parliament who is a grandson of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, saying that Trump was dishonoring USA servicemen.

Ceremonies in New Zealand, Australia, India, Hong Kong and Myanmar began a day of memorial events around the world for a conflict that involved millions of troops from colonised countries in Asia and Africa.

The Armistice of 11 November 1918, signed between the Allies and Germany, put an official end to World War I. Therefore, Sunday corresponds to the 100th anniversary.

A hundred years to the day since the guns fell silent, marking the end of World War I, dozens of world leaders will take part in a solemn ceremony in France to remember the many who gave their lives between 1914 and 1918.

The cancellation of the cemetery visit means Trump's next engagement will be to attend a dinner hosted by Macron on Saturday evening.

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President Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel went inside a replica of the train where the Armistice was reached and wrote their names in a guestbook.

The memorial is doubly symbolic as Adolf Hitler forced the French to return to it on June 22, 1940 to sign their own surrender at the start of World War II.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled a plaque at the spot where World War I was officially ended.


France and Germany fought three wars between 1870 and 1945.

"Nationalism is its betrayal", the French leader said in his 20-minute address.

Merkel, arriving in Paris, praised Macron's symbolic gesture in inviting her, adding that having "peace today is not a matter of course".

The Paris Peace Forum, conceived by Macron, is meant to highlight the importance of worldwide institutions in helping resolve conflicts, avert wars and spread prosperity.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told in response to inquiry about the delayed arrival, and the possibility that Trump was meeting with Putin during the time that he was missing in action that he was abiding by protocol.

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Europe should not spend higher defence budgets on US-made weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview due to air Sunday, after a defence row with President Donald Trump.

Trump took umbrage at a recent interview in which Macron talked about the need for a European army and listed the United States along with Russian Federation and China as a threat to national security.

In the interview, Macron had cited Trump's plans to pull the U.S. out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty and said a joint European Union force was needed to end Europe's reliance on United States military might.

"We won't protect Europe if we don't decide to have a true European army".

At Saturday morning's meeting, they were able to agree on "burden sharing" for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

Macron emphasized "the great solidarity between our two nations" and asserted that his perspective coincided with Trump's demand for Europe to pick up some slack in military spending.

The source also said that president Trump has called for a new agreement to ensure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

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"We want a strong Europe".

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