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Macron says he would back Merkel if she runs for European Union leadership

Macron says he would back Merkel if she runs for European Union leadership

It was a symbolic gift from Emmanuel Macron to Donald Trump at the height of their "bromance" a year ago: an oak tree ceremoniously planted in the manicured lawns of the White House by both leaders.

Macron told Swiss television RTS that the demise of the tree shouldn't be viewed as an analogy of the relationship between France and the U.S. French President Emmanuel Macron - who Juncker had described in the same interview as a "Classical" work of art "with a modern touch" - said that he would back the German chancellor should she want the role.

However, while speaking with RTS, Macron said its death should not be seen as a symbol for French-US relations.

Trump and Macron planted the tree with their wives watching on but it was not in the lawns of the White House for long as it was soon placed in quarantine due to national law regarding the potential introduction of parasites.

The European Sessile Oak was a gift from the Macrons and comes from Belleau Woods, where more than 9000 American marines died during battle in June 1918 during the First World War.

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"America is never as big as when it is fighting for the freedom of others", he said.

It died in quarantine after being dug up.

Just over one year after the ceremonial planting, the dead tree has been viewed as a metaphor for the two leaders' atrophied relationship - one that showed promise in the beginning.

Macron and Merkel each addressed the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva earlier in the day, but had no scheduled bilateral meeting, diplomats in each delegation said. "Of course. Because I think we need someone strong".

Yet despite the symbolic setback, officials in both countries say Trump and Macron have been getting along well. "I think that's exactly how it will continue to be".