02:56 GMT04 June 2020
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    French President Emmanuel Macron has described his lengthy handshake with US President Donald Trump as "a moment of truth."

    On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron met US President Donald Trump at the US embassy in Brussels on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

    The two leaders discussed terrorism, security cooperation and climate change. Macron said he warned the US President against taking a "hurried decision" regarding the Paris climate change agreement, which Trump has threatened to pull out of.

    Following the meeting, the two leaders held a photo opportunity. They also had a vigorous handshake which lasted for several seconds. 

    Speaking to French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Macron called the handshake a "moment of truth."

    "My handshake with him was not innocent, it was not the alpha and the omega of politics but a moment of truth," Macron explained.

    "We must show that we won't make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but we also shouldn't over-hype things," the French President continued.

    ​​The US President's unique handshake gained attention following a photo session with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in which he forcefully gripped his counterpart's hand for a long time.

    According to the Washington Post, Macron decided to give Trump's hand an equally enthusiastic pump after he was given a heads-up about Trump's habit by the French ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud.

    Macron told the French newspaper that the energetic handshake with Trump was meant to signify that theirs is a relationship between equals.

    "Donald Trump, the Turkish President and the Russian President see things in terms of balance of power, which doesn't bother me. I don't believe in diplomacy through public invective but in my bilateral dialogues I don't let anything pass, that is how to ensure respect," Macron declared.


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    handshake, meeting, NATO, president, diplomatic relations, Donald Trump Jr, Emmanuel Macron, United States, Brussels, France
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