Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Emmanuel Macron unveils European defence coalition

French President Emmanuel Macron chairs a cabinet meeting in Charleville-Mezieres northeastern France Wednesday Nov.7 2018 Le Pen Faults Macron for'Empire Ambitions as He Calls for Single European Army
Deanna Wagner | 10 November, 2018, 05:30

Trump is set to meet with Macron Saturday morning at the Élysée Palace in Paris, per USA Today.

The relationship between Trump and Macron, once described as a "bromance", has long since soured amid the U.S. imposing steep tariffs on EU imports and threatening European businesses with secondary sanctions for dealing with Iran.

"I don't know that we're seeing each other in Paris, but we may", Trump said.

"Faced with Russian Federation, which is near our borders and has shown it could be threatening - I want to build a real security dialog with Russian Federation, which is a country I respect, a European country - but we must have a Europe that can defend itself on its own without relying only on the United States".

As president, Trump has repeatedly chastised North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for failing to spend more on defence, and has suggested that the USA was growing disinterested in "paying for Europe's protection" any longer. "There may be a lunch for the leaders". 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.

He has railed against trade deals with the European Union and has criticised some EU nations, including France, for not spending enough on defence to sustain North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the decades-old Western alliance formed as a bulwark to Moscow's aggression.

"I don't think that this defense identity will start with an European Union army", Schinas said on Tuesday. That now seems more likely for later this month, when they attend the Group of 20 summit of worldwide leaders in Argentina.

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

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

"We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army", he continued.

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.

The dividends of Macron's cultivation of Mr. Trump are "modest at best", said Stewart M. Patrick, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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