Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump to snub Macron's 'Peace Forum' on Armistice weekend

Trump to snub Macron's 'Peace Forum' on Armistice weekend

But the talks may be tense after the president took to Twitter and called it "very insulting" for Macron to suggest a military may be needed to protect Europe from the U.S., China and Russian Federation.

"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America", Macron argued. Macron's office declined to comment on Trump's tweet.

At that meeting, Trump would not say whether he believed Putin or United States intelligence agencies about their conclusions about Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's tweet just after landing in Paris that was highly critical of Macron is expected to strain the US-French relationship. He has called on all nations in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the majority of are European, to contribute a minimum of two per cent of their GDP towards the cost of the alliance.

Macron, an ardent advocate of closer European integration, said a joint European Union military force was needed to wean Europe off American might, not least after Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on November 7, 2018.

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 USA sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

For Sunday's armistice anniversary, Mr. Trump was to join world leaders at a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe.

The trip comes as the White House looks to grapple with a new political reality of Democrats taking the House in Tuesday's midterm elections and the fallout from the president's sudden firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Early on, Macron tried to position himself as a sort of "Trump whisperer" and Trump returned the favour, hosting Macron at the first and only state dinner of his presidency.

"I think it will be something very, very special", he said.

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

The White House and the Kremlin had previously considered a formal meeting in Paris.

In addition to his meetings with Macron, Trump is expected to visit the Belleau Wood battlefield and American cemetery on Saturday, and speak at a Veterans Day ceremony Sunday at the Suresnes American Cemetery. That now seems more likely for later this month, when they attend the G20 summit of worldwide leaders in Argentina.

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