Trump criticises Macron again over European defense remarks

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes US President Donald Trump at the Elysee Palace on the eve of the commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Nov 13, 2018, 05.48 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched another attack against Emmanuel Macron over the French president's call for a European army.

"Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the US, China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France?" Trump tweeted. "They were starting to learn German in Paris before the US came along. Pay for NATO or not!"

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Over the weekend, Macron angered Trump by saying Europe needed its own army and listing the US along with Russia and China as a threat to European security.

Trump and Mcron agreed on Saturday on the need for more European defence spending, papering over an earlier Trump tweet that had described Macron's call for a European army as "very insulting".

Meeting for talks at the Elysee a day before commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Macron welcomed Trump under rainy Parisian skies with a firm handshake. But there appeared to be less immediate warmth in the greeting between the two than in the past.

"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."

Meanwhile, Macron delivered a speech condemning the rise of nationalism as dozens of world leaders—including President Donald Trump—gathered in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said. “By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.”

Macron didn’t mention Trump or the United States by name in his remarks, and his message was likely meant for several world leaders in the audience and listeners worldwide, given the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe.

Story highlights

Over the weekend, Macron angered Trump by saying Europe needed its own army and listing the US along with Russia and China as a threat to European security.