Trump arrives in Paris day before Netanyahu visit

Both leaders are due to meet with new French President Emmanuel Macron during their respective visits.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
July 13, 2017 09:59
2 minute read.

US President Trump arrives in France on two-day visit

US President Trump arrives in France on two-day visit

PARIS - US President Donald Trump, under fire at home over Russian connections and abroad over climate change and trade, arrived in Paris on Thursday seeking common ground with France's new leader Emmanuel Macron.

After a bumpy start to relations, the two men both have incentives to improve ties - Macron hoping to elevate France's role in global affairs, and Trump, seemingly isolated among world leaders, needing a friend overseas.

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Trump comes to France beset by allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Emails released on Tuesday suggest his eldest son welcomed Russian help against his father's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Orly airport near Paris, France, July 13, 2017 (REUTERS)

Weeks after Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Palace of Versailles, Trump will bask in the trappings of the Bastille Day military parade on Friday and commemorations of the entry 100 years ago of US troops into World War One.

Talks will focus on shared diplomatic and military endeavors, but an Elysee official said Macron would not shy away from trickier issues. Trump has made few friends in Europe with his rejection of the Paris accord on climate change and "America First" trade stance.

"The meeting won't avoid subjects on which we have different positions, such as climate and, to a certain extent, trade," the Macron aide said.

Macron will greet Trump at the Hotel des Invalides, a grand 17th century complex where Napoleon Bonaparte and other war heroes are buried.

They will later dine with their wives at a restaurant on the second floor of Paris' Eiffel Tower. The Elysee official said the symbolism was clear: "Paris is still Paris."

During the US election campaign, Trump declared that a wave of militant attacks showed "France is no longer France," urging the French to get tough on immigration and jihadists.

Trump and Macron are expected to discuss counter-terrorism and the situation in the Middle East, particularly the civil war in Syria, where Islamic State is defending its last major urban stronghold of Raqqa.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to arrive in the French capital on Friday afternoon ahead of a Sunday morning ceremony marking 75 years since a massive Nazi roundup in Paris of Jews, and a meeting with Macron. So far, there are no known public plans for Netanyahu and Trump to meet in Paris.

Netanyahu will spend three nights in Paris before going to Budapest for another three nights to attend a summit of the Visegrad group, made up of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

He is expected to hold both bilateral talks with the leaders of each of the four countries, as well as a joint meeting as well before returning to Israel on Thursday, July 20.



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