Just arrived in Paris for commemorations of the centenary of the end of World War I, Donald Trump denounced Friday, in an extremely virulent tweet, the proposal of Emmanuel Macron to create a European army.
The American president, arrived in the evening with his wife Melania, will meet Saturday morning at the Elysee Palace his French counterpart, with whom he claims a form of complicity despite sharp disagreements, Iran trade.
"President Macron has just suggested that Europe build its own army to protect itself against the United States, China and Russia," Trump tweeted as Air Force One landed at the international airport. 'Orly, near Paris.
"Very insulting but perhaps Europe should first pay its share to NATO that the United States subsidize widely!" Added the US president.
This is Donald Trump's second visit to France since his arrival at the White House, after that of July 14, 2017, which he regularly discusses with great enthusiasm.
In his tweet, the US president was referring to Tuesday's statements by Macron who called for the creation of a "real European army" to better protect the Old Continent.
"We will not protect the Europeans if we do not decide to have a real European army," pleaded the French president. We must "protect ourselves against China, Russia and even the United States," he added.
– Sunday Arc de Triomphe –
There is currently no supranational European army. The subject, recurrent, remains undermined because it touches the heart the sovereignty of member states.
During a speech at the Sorbonne last year, Mr Macron had proposed to work together several Member States able to act outside the existing structures of NATO or the EU, in a more flexible way, in order to to contribute to the emergence of "European strategic autonomy".
By the time he left the White House, Mr. Trump had opted for a much more conciliatory tone by evoking his upcoming Parisian weekend.
"It's going to be a wonderful moment," he predicted. "There will be a lot of countries," he added, assuring that the announcement of his presence had pushed many other leaders to make the trip.
Dozens of heads of state and government converge Sunday in Paris to mark the centenary of the armistice of the war of 14-18.
The Arc de Triomphe will host an extraordinary ceremony attended by nearly 70 dignitaries including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muhammadu Buhari …
Many heads of state, but not Mr. Trump, will then participate in an international forum on peace, organized by Emmanuel Macron as a plea against the decline of the multilateral world order.
During the weekend, Mr. Trump will also visit the Bois Belleau American Cemetery, in the Aisne department, and the American cemetery in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris.
No one-to-one talks are planned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but a brief meeting between the White House tenant and the Kremlin's strongman is not ruled out.
It will be scrutinized after the announcement of new Washington sanctions against Moscow and against a background of threatening investigation for the Trump team on a possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The tempestuous American president is customary of attacks against the leaders of allied countries.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been the targets of her spades.
But this is the first time he attacked Emmanuel Macron in such a frontal way that he had received the White House in April for a state visit.
The Elysee had not reacted Friday night to the tweet of the tenant of the White House.