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Armistice Day: Trump blasts Macron hours before Paris meeting

Armistice Day: Trump blasts Macron hours before Paris meeting

Seconds after his plane was wheels down in Paris, Donald Trump attacked host Emmanuel Macron for suggesting that Europe needs to raise a standing army to protect itself from China, Russia and the United States.Seconds after his plane was wheels down in Paris, Donald Trump attacked host Emmanuel Macron for suggesting that Europe needs to raise a standing army to protect itself from China, Russia and the United States. European security will be "the main victim" of such a decision, the French president warned.

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

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel linked hands as they marked 100 years since their countries' reconciliation at the same forest clearing where the armistice ending World War I was signed.

Trump arrived in Paris for World War 1 commemorations on Friday night blasting what he termed "very insulting" remarks from Macron who had mentioned the United States alongside China, Russia as national security threats earlier this week.

After Chancellor Angela Merkel briefly snuggled her head into the neck of Macron, the two went inside a replica of the train auto where the armistice was reached and put their names in a guestbook.

Macron emphasized "the great solidarity between our two nations" and asserted that his perspective coincided with Trump's demand for Europe to pick up some slack in military spending.

One of the French president's closest political allies attacked Trump on Saturday morning.

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

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The tone of this visit will be markedly less festive.

After meeting Macron, Trump was due to travel to travel to Belleau Wood, a battlefield where USA troops had a key breathrough against a German advance trying to enter Paris. 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.

Macron replied: "I do believe we need more European capacities, more European defense".

He is specifically pushing for the creation of a nine-country European force, independent from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, that could rapidly mount a joint military operation, evacuate civilians from a war zone, or provide aid after a natural disaster.

The WWI commemorations come at a watershed moment for the liberal post-war order, with anti-immigration populists at the helm in the United States and Brazil, sharing power in Italy, and making strong gains in Germany, where Merkel has announced her resignation in 2021. Together, we rebuilt Western Europe after World War II and created institutions that produced stability and wealth on both sides of the Atlantic.

President Macron has previously warned that Europeans can no longer rely on the U.S. to defend them, and returned to the theme on Tuesday during a visit to the former Western Front in Verdun.

Macron met British Prime Minister Theresa May near the Belgian border Friday to try to make progress on a Brexit deal and remember the fallen on the battlefields of the Somme.

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