PARIS – President Trump held out Friday against French President Emmanuel Macron after Macron called for the constitution of a "real European army" to protect himself from the United States and other potential adversaries, exacerbating tensions between the two men while they were preparing to meet face to face. one later this weekend.
While Air Force One was preparing for Trump's two-day visit on the occasion of the commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War, Trump sent a tweet – one of many during the Transatlantic flight of six hours – under the veil of Macron French Radio's comments earlier this week.
"French President Macron has just suggested to Europe to have its own army to protect itself from the United States, China and Russia," Trump tweeted Friday night, just before landing the presidential plane. "Very insulting, but maybe Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, that the United States is subsidizing a lot!"
Trump has long been angered by NATO alliance countries that still do not pay at least 2% of their gross domestic product for their military, saying the US had to subsidize defense spending from other countries .
His sudden demand at the NATO summit this summer for other nations to pay billions of dollars more for military forces caused the annual meeting to fail, after some diplomats perceived Trump's remarks as a threat to United States to withdraw from the alliance.
In the Europe 1 radio interview, Macron reported on Trump's recent announcement that the US would withdraw from the INF Treaty, a nuclear arms mastery pact that then-President Ronald Reagan had concluded with the former Soviet Union in 1987.
The "main victim" of the withdrawal, according to Macron, is "Europe and its security".
"We will not protect the Europeans if we do not decide to form a real European army," Macron said in an interview during his visit to the main battlefields of the First World War in the north-east of France. He said Europe should "protect itself against China, Russia and even the United States of America".
This niche marks the start of a controversial week-end for Trump's weekend in the French capital and is a distinctly different tone from the message relayed by John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, who had been to Paris before. this week.
"In Paris, we are working today with our allies to address the toughest global security challenges we face," Bolton tweeted on Friday.
Trump and Macron will meet for a bilateral meeting on Saturday morning in Paris, and Macron will host a dinner later in the evening for visiting heads of state who are in town to commemorate the First World War. The official event of the Armistice Day will be held Sunday.
Macron also invited world leaders to participate in the Paris Peace Forum, another forum for discussing global common challenges, but Trump is not planned.