Emmanuel Macron has presided over his first Bastille Day parade as French president.
The ceremony in bright sunshine on the Champs Elysees featured French and American soldiers, in a double celebration marking 100 years since the US entered World War One as well as France’s annual holiday.
Watching the events as guest of honour was US President Donald Trump on the second day of his visit to Paris. The two leaders were seen engaging in another long handshake that is becoming a familiar sight.
“Nothing will ever separate us,” Emmanuel Macron said in his speech, of the relationship between the two countries.
Earlier the US President tweeted “relationship with France stronger than ever” following his welcome by his French counterpart on a first day that culminated in dinner at the Eiffel Tower.
Great evening with President
EmmanuelMacron</a> & Mrs. Macron. Went to Eiffel Tower for dinner. Relationship with France stronger than ever. <a href="https://t.co/ib1pdUYoEU">pic.twitter.com/ib1pdUYoEU</a></p>— Donald J. Trump (realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2017
For France the visit is a chance to boost its world standing; for the US a respite from isolation over its leader’s stance on trade and climate change.
This week saw a row between Macron and his army chief over proposed defence cuts – but France will hope the scenes serve as a reminder that it’s an important military power and partner of the US.
A bi-national fly-past was designed to symbolise the current military cooperation in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The ceremony came on the first anniversary of the terror attack in Nice, when 86 people were killed and hundreds injured by a man who drove a lorry through the holiday crowd.
Je souhaite à tous les Français(e)s, à tous ceux qui ont choisi la France, à tous ceux qui l’aiment, une fête nationale sereine et joyeuse. pic.twitter.com/eAHrAp4A0P— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 14, 2017