Macron’s proposal for European Union army ‘very insulting’

10 November, 2018, 05:30 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Macron Pulls UK into European Defence Coalition After Calling for EU Anti-U.S. Front

"And we look forward to that", Trump told reporters on Friday before leaving the White House.

During an interview with radio station Europe 1 he said the trade bloc needed to be less reliant on the United States, particularly following Trump's decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has embarked on a three-day visit to France on Friday.

Mr Trump and Putin have met previously on the sidelines of two summits and had their own bilateral meeting in July in Helsinki.

Mr Trump's brief visit to Europe comes amid uncertainty about the U.S. relationship with the continent.

Trump's comments were in response to Mr Macron's idea for the European Union to have its own dedicated military, created to defend Europe from China, Russia and the US. That now seems more likely for later this month, when they attend the Group of 20 summit of global leaders in Argentina. 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.

The statement reads in part, "The Nigerian President will join the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and other world leaders in discussing contributions towards global peace while underscoring the imperative of collective action".

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Trump launched a broadside at Macron via his preferred medium of conducting foreign policy - Twitter.

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

The French president, who tried but failed earlier this year to talk Trump out of withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, has also voiced worries about the impact of sanctions on European companies doing business with Iran.

Macron and other European leaders have repeatedly criticized Trump's efforts to undermine the deal, and have sought to create a special mechanism that would allow the bloc to avert US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

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

"He's starting to become the antithesis of President Trump's public messaging", said Heather Conley, director of the Europe programme at Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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