Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Trump lashed by critics after skipping military cemetery visit over rain

Trump lashed by critics after skipping military cemetery visit over rain

The tensions between Macron and Trump were triggered earlier this week when the French president referred to Trump's plans to pull Washington out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty and said a joint European Union force was needed to end Europe's reliance on USA military might.

Donald Trump has criticised French President Emmanuel Macron for an "insulting" proposal to build up Europe's military to counter the US, China and Russian Federation. "Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the United States subsidises greatly!"

And once inside, the French President touched Donald Trump's leg multiple times in an awkward attempt to justify his call for a European Army criticised and taken as an "insult" by the American leader.

Trump, Macron UK Prime Minister Theresa May and scores of other heads of state and government will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I this weekend.

The leaders of France and Germany have held an intimate commemoration at the site north of Paris where the vanquished Germans and victorious but exhausted Allies put an end to World War 1.

Trudeau now travels to Paris where he is scheduled tonight to attend a dinner hosted by Macron.

He said: "They're all saying what a great relationship we have, and they're actually correct, we do have a very special relationship".

Mr Macron said he agreed that "we need a much better burden-sharing within Nato" - the US-led alliance.

An official in Macron's office said Trump lumped together two different comments by the French president, and that the comments would be on the table for Saturday's meeting.

The American flag flies at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery dedicated to the USA soldiers killed in the Belleau Wood battle during World War One at Belleau, France, November 10, 2018.

President Trump started his Saturday in better spirits, asking "is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war" as he prepared to meet with Emmanuel Macron at Elysee Palace. The White House cited a scheduling conflict, saying the president instead would attend a Veterans Day ceremony to pay respects to US soldiers who died on French soil.

Trump has made similar arguments, particularly in urging NATO's European members to increase its share of defense spending.

Defending his call for a European army, the French leader said: "It is unfair to have European security being assured by the U.S.". Macron and Merkel unveiled a commemorative plaque where the Armistice was signed, ending the war.

Mr Trump and Putin have met previously on the sidelines of two summits and had their own bilateral meeting in July in Helsinki.

Macron conceived the forum as an annual gathering for political leaders and civil society groups to discuss democracy-along the same lines as the Davos meeting in Switzerland, which is devoted to economics and business.

"The President and First Lady's trip to Ainse-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather", a White House statement said. "We have to have a Europe that can defend itself alone - and without only relying on the United States - in a more sovereign manner".

The US and France attempted to smooth over differences over a European defense mechanism, with Trump assuring Macron that Washington would "help" Europe with its defense.

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