Trump, Macron agree on European defence

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France’s Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump have agreed on the need for Europe to bear more of the burden for defence, papering over an earlier Trump tweet that described Macron’s call for a European army as “very insulting”.

Meeting for talks at the Elysee palace ahead of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Macron welcomed Trump with a firm handshake, but there appeared to be less immediate warmth between them than in the past.

Seated on gilded chairs, Macron placed his hand on Trump’s knee and referred to him as “my friend”, while Trump too sought to find common ground on an issue that has caused friction.

“We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us, and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want,” said Trump. “We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States.”

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