US President Donald Trump denounced Friday evening, when he arrived in Paris, the words "very insulting" his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the creation of a European army.
"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.
The meeting between the two leaders, scheduled for Saturday morning at the Elysee Palace, already looks particularly delicate.
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 apparently made reference to the statements Tuesday of Mr. 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.
There is currently no supranational European army. The subject, recurrent, remains undermined because it touches the heart the sovereignty of member states.
By the time he left the White House, Mr. Trump had opted for a much more conciliatory tone.
"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.
On Sunday, Trump will participate, in the presence of at least 60 heads of state, at a ceremony at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe during which Mr. Macron will deliver a speech.
Over the weekend, he will also visit the American Wood Belleau Cemetery, in the Aisne department, and the American cemetery in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris.