Macron Tells Trump That France and U.S. Owe Each Other Respect

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AFP Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT

One of Trump's major gripes was Macron's suggestion to create a European army with greater autonomy from existing structures like NATO-itself a favored target for Trump.

Goading President Trump wasn't just a French hobby, either.

"Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France?"

Trump's tweets underscored tensions between the once-chummy leaders and displayed the USA president's irritation over criticism of how he acted in France.

According to observers, the Trump-Macron bromance has shifted away from what it used to be and both leaders started openly voicing their different opinions on policy issues.

Macron apparently drew Trump's ire by starkly rejecting nationalism during the WWI ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe last Sunday, an implicit critique of the "America First" policies which have led Trump to pull out of several key worldwide agreements.

Even as relations have soured, Mr Macron has promised to keep talking with the USA president. The French Presidential Palace released a statement to the media regarding his tweets saying that whatever he says on it is not intended for the French people but to Americans exclusively since it is written in English.

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In an interview from the emblematic aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, Macron re-evaluated the relationship between France and the United States and said that "at every moment of our history, we are allies, so between allies, respect is due", Macron told the French news network TF1. Trump's standing with the French is lower than Macron's. He described nationalism as betrayed patriotism and at the same time urged other leaders who were present on that day to reject the act of nationalism.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism", Macron said, adding that, when nations put their interests first and decide "who cares about the others" they "erase the most precious thing a nation can have ... its moral values".

At a time when the European Union itself is struggling to maintain it core liberal values, when the United Kingdom is about to quit the EU and the power of his main ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is in free fall, he still has the steely belief and arrogant confidence that he can fend off the dark forces of nationalism that are hell-bent on destroying the values of the world order that attempted to bury those dark forces for good after the Second World War. Mr. Macron designated himself as the "principal opponent" of the nationalist forces seeking to undermine the EU's foundations after that meeting.

An encounter with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during which Trump tossed a Starburst candy onto the table and said, "Here, Angela".

"FEMEN believes that restoring world peace with those who are responsible for the ongoing wars is hypocritical", the statement said.

"I hear the anger, and it's a fundamental right in our society to be allowed to express it", Mr Macron continued, before insisting the government would not back down from the fuel tax hikes. When Trump cites history in the global context, he often gets it completely wrong.

While Trump was in France, he drew significant criticism for skipping a planned ceremony to honor American soldiers killed in World War I apparently on account of rainy weather. But he knows that can only happen if the European Union thrives, too.

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