Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

One-way love: Trump remains frigid to Macron’s caress at Paris visit

One-way love: Trump remains frigid to Macron’s caress at Paris visit

The celebration is scheduled to start on Saturday.

The last minute cancellation prompted widespread criticism on social media and from some officials in Britain and the United States that Trump had "dishonored" U.S. servicemen.

David Frum, a frequent Trump critic who was once a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, tweeted that he thought it was "incredible" that a president would travel to France for a World War I ceremony and then not pay respects to the USA servicemen who died in France in that war.

"Old demons are reawakening, ready to sow chaos and death", he said, warning of how ideology, religion and a disregard for facts could be exploited.

France's president used a global commemoration of the end of the First World War to remind leaders today that the peace forged a century ago can be easily undone by rising nationalism wrapped in the mask of patriotism.

Macron attempted to smooth over the divisions, saying he shared Trump's view on the need for Europe to boost defence spending.

"Trump will use the USA military for a pre election political stunt but sits in his hotel instead of honoring those who fought and died for America".

Both leaders agree there should be "better burden-sharing within NATO", meaning Europe should be less reliant on U.S. spending for its defence, Macron said. Instead the president returned to the US ambassador to France's residence, where he and the first lady are staying in Paris, for about four and a half hours.

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Two minutes of silence honoured the five crash victims and also marked the centenary since the end of World War I. The team, now 10th in the Premier League, returned to action last weekend, beating Cardiff 1-0 away.

Yet Julie Smith, who served as deputy national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden, said other European leaders also are not enthralled with the Peace forum. "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States", he said, listing various threats including cybercrime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the lunch following the ceremony, and Trump has said that if the two meet during their time here it would likely be for just a brief interaction at the palace. "We need a much better burden-sharing within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", he said, patting his counterpart's knee affectionately.

Asked in late October what he meant when he described himself as a nationalist, Trump cited his love of the country and said it was about putting it first economically.

"On the centenary of the November 11, 1918 armistice, Mr Emmanuel Macron, president of the French Republic, and Mrs Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the federal Republic of Germany, here reaffirmed the value of Franco-German reconciliation in the service of Europe and peace".

The WWI commemorations come at a watershed moment for the liberal post-war order, with anti-immigration populists at the helm in the USA and Brazil, sharing power in Italy, and making strong gains in Germany, where Merkel has announced her resignation in 2021 after a series of electoral setbacks.

As their motorcade pulled up to the Arc in the pouring rain, church bells chimed across the city, marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the time of the cessation of hostilities in World War I.

In comment before the leaders went behind closed doors for talks, President Macron referred to President Trump as "my good friend" and appeared to tap him on the thigh.

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