More than 60 world leaders have arrived in France to take part in commemoration events on Sunday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, exactly a century after the end of one of the most devastating wars in history.
French President Emmanuel Macron told the press that he intends to discuss the issue of EU defence capabilities with the US president after it recently prompted a backlash by the latter. Macron said that Europe can handle a greater burden in terms of defence than it does now. Furthermore, the French president announced he also plans to discuss matters regarding Iran, Syria, Yemen, Africa, climate change as well as trade relations with the US during talks with Trump on 10 November.
"I am obviously going to share with President Trump the proposals made on Europe's strategic defence capabilities and the need for a Europe that is able to take on more of the common burden at the heart of NATO," Macron said.
For his part, Trump confirmed that trade talks would be held and noted that progress has already been made in that regard. He added that time will tell if the two sides will be able to "get it over the line". Trump also said that the US wants a "strong Europe" and is eager to help its EU allies, but also wants European states to bear a greater financial burden for its security.
"We want a strong Europe, it's very important to us. We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States," Trump said.
Trump criticised Macron's idea of creating the EU army on 9 November saying that it was "very insulting" as Europe "should first pay its fair share of NATO". Trump also implied that the goal of creating such an army is for the EU to "protect itself from the US, China, and Russia," citing Macron's comments.
Macron's office dispelled Trump's remarks, claiming he misunderstood the French president. Macron earlier suggested the creation of EU defence forces saying that Europe can no longer depend on the US military in that regard. He also called for "protection from China, Russia, and even from the United States of America," slamming the Washington's decision to abandon the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
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