Trump leaves for Paris with political headwinds back home

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

The two leaders are expected to discuss European concerns about Trump's plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and renewal of USA sanctions against Iran.

European countries should contribute more money towards North Atlantic Treaty Organisation rather than ponder the "very insulting" prospect of a pan-European armed force, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Friday.

Trump will hold talks with Macron at Elysee Palace on Saturday.

Trump sent a tweet calling Macron's proposal "very insulting" as the USA president's plane landed Friday evening for celebrations with world leaders commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

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.

For Sunday's anniversary, Trump was to join world leaders at a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. Not on Trump's schedule, despite earlier discussions about the possibility, was an extended meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

US President Donald Trump on Friday took a jab at French President Emmanuel Macron for his proposal to build up a European army to counter threats from global powers, including the US.

The president, joined by his wife Melania and high-ranking U.S. officials, arrived late on Friday aboard Air Force One for a visit that he called "very special" and one that he "looked forward to". "I've seen what they have planned, and I think it's going to be something very, very special", he said.

Trump, who has pushed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to pay more for their common defense and not rely so heavily on the United States, complained. "Very insulting", Trump said in a tweet. Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both publicly questioned whether Europe can depend on the U.S.to come to its aid in the event of war. 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. The Macrons had previously hosted the Trumps for a visit during Bastille Day. Political and military analysts question whether European countries have the will, money or materiel to replace the raw power of the United States.

Mr Macron has been a longstanding critic of Trump.

It's a sign of the increasingly different view Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron have towards multilateral institutions. That now seems more likely for later this month, when they attend the G20 summit of worldwide leaders in Argentina.

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