New French President Emmanuel Macron has invited his US counterpart Donald Trump to Paris to celebrate Bastille Day as this July marks the 100th anniversary of the United States entering the First World War.
When the two leaders held a joint news conference, President Macron had a more contemporary conflict at the forefront of his mind:
“We have one main objective to eradicate terrorists, all terrorists groups, whatever their ideology, we have the will. We need to build a political solution in the long term and it must be inclusive. Therefore I am not saying the end of Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for French involvement in Syria.’‘
Donald Trump tried to backtrack on the less-than-flattering comments he had made about France during his election campaign.
“You have a great leader now, you have a great president, you have a tough president, it’s not going to be easy on people who are breaking the laws and people that share this tremendous violence. So I really have the feeling that you going to have a very beautiful and peaceful Paris and I’m coming back… You better do a good job, please otherwise you will make me look very bad,” Trump said, chuckling.
Macron replied: “You are always welcome.”
Trump’s staff commented on Air Force One that the president was in Paris for fun – that will be a presidential dinner and the Bastille Day parade, when French and US troops are to march side by side.
Watch the Macron-Trump press conference in full