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What's behind the Trump-Macron 'bromance?'

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What's behind the Trump-Macron 'bromance?'

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Donald Trump was the first US president since Calvin Coolidge - a century ago - not to welcome a foreign leader for a state visit, during his first year in office,

Now, 15 months in, he's finally rolling out the red carpet with the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump's going all out, having had so much fun in Paris last July, when Macron invited him to watch the Bastille Day parade.

The two are now enjoying an apparent 'bromance.' But what's behind their apparent close relationship?

Trump's 'best friend'

"President Macron is President Trump's best friend on the European side of the Atlantic," said Kristine Berzina, from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).

"President Trump hasn't had the best relationship with allies in general, he has been very confrontational. This says to Europe that President Macron is really the best man to send forward to mend ties and find common ground with President Trump."

A 'winner'

Trump and Macron are both presidents seeking to make a mark - and they're not afraid to raise some eyebrows to achieve that. It's perhaps this willingness to challenge the status-quo that's stoking the amour, or love, between them.

Berzina commented: "He (Macron) is a winner, right? President Macron won decisively in the election - of course President Trump didn't initially back Macron in the campaign, but he won and winners have a certain amount of clout with President Trump.

"President Macron, when he is also seeking to change labour laws in France, is also fighting battles that a similarly controversial. They are different of course, but the willingness to take on entrenched interests, do things differently, I think that is similar to these two men."

Macron - a European 'messenger'

The bond between Trump and Macron is putting France in the driving seat when it comes to EU relations - ahead of the likes of Germany and Britain.

"There are also European issues and things that are of concern to the rest of the European countries that Macron is being sent to Washington or is going to Washington to tackle President Trump, because he has the best relationship," commented Berzina.

"We know that because later in the week on Friday, Chancellor Merkel will also be visiting Washington, it's a one-day visit, it's a three-day visit for President Macron. So he is coming in with a bang and really warming President Trump up and and starting to talk about many of the European concerns that will be followed by the others, but he is the first messenger on these issues."