Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump slams Macron for ‘insulting’ plan to build up Europe’s military

Trump slams Macron for ‘insulting’ plan to build up Europe’s military

U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out - erroneously - at French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, saying it was "very insulting" for him to suggest Europe should create its own army to protect itself from potential adversaries.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation which the USA subsidizes greatly!"

Actually, whaat Macron said on French radio on Tuesday was that Europe needed a real army to reduce reliance on the United States for defense in the face of a resurgent Russian Federation.

Mr Macron said: "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the US".

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

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 national security adviser, John Bolton, said on Friday in Paris that the U.S. was concerned about stability in Europe and that Trump was not shirking from global engagement.

"We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the U.S.".

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Evacuation notices were announced for Chico, which is home to around 93,000 people and is about 90 miles north of Sacramento. Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes in Ventura County, about 30 miles from Malibu.

Trump's reaction is likely to add to strains in transatlantic relations, which will be under the spotlight this weekend as 70 world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's Vladimir Putin, gather in Paris to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1.

Trump has demanded that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries spend more on their own defense and has questioned whether the US should remain in the alliance.

In his September 2017 "State of the Union" address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that "By 2025 we need a fully-fledged European Defence Union".

The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran over European opposition, blacklisting hundreds of Iranian firms and individuals. While Republicans slightly expanded their majority in the US Senate, they lost control of the US House of Representatives to Democrats who may use their newfound power to launch investigations into Trump and stymie his agenda.

"Great world leaders", he said, are "driven by national interests".

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has embarked on a three-day visit to France on Friday.

The French claim that EI2, comprised of France, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Finland, will not be a standing European army, but a "rapid response" unit for joint military operations which would collaborate on military and humanitarian crises and deploy military responses. 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.

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