PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron told Donald Trump on Wednesday that France was an ally of the United States and not a vassal state after the US president attacked him in a series of tweets that demonstrated how their relationships had deteriorated.
PHOTO FILE: French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with US President Donald Trump after a meeting at the Elysee Palace on the eve of the Armistice commemoration ceremony, one hundred years after the end of the First World War Paris, November 10, 2018. REUTERS / Vincent Kessler / Photo File
After visiting the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War in Paris on Tuesday, Trump reminded France of its near-defeat by Germany during the two wars, criticized the wine industry and referred to it. the fall of Macron. notes of approval.
Trump had previously criticized Macron 's suggestion that a European army was needed, in part, to reduce reliance on the US military.
Asked in an interview about the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to know if he was offended by Trump's tweets, Macron spoke at length about the long military alliance between the two countries, starting with the US war of independence. United.
"At every moment of our history, we were allies. Respect is essential between allies, "Macron told TF1 television.
"I do not think the French expect me to respond to tweets but I continue this important story," he added.
When pressed, Macron dismissed Trump's comments as an attempt to play in front of a national audience, following Trump's defeats in the mid-term elections.
"I think he's playing politics and I let him play American politics."
But he was asked if there was a deeper misunderstanding between the two countries after Macron's comments about a European army exasperated by Trump, but he said that being an ally of the United States United did not mean to be submissive.
"The United States is our historic ally and will continue to be. It is the ally with whom we take all the risks, with which we carry out the most complicated operations. But being an ally does not mean being a vassal state, "said Macron.
The public dispute contrasted sharply with the friendly tone that characterized the relationship between the former banker and the former real estate developer since Macron's election in 2017.
After being invited to Paris to attend the July 14 military parade and to have received Macron and his wife during a state visit to Washington in January, Trump had praised Macron as a "good guy" and a friend of mine".
Macron had trouble converting "bonhomie" into influence. Trump and Macron disagreed on many international issues, including the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, and Trump's decision to slap tariffs on European metals exports.
But the personal rhetoric between the two men has always been friendly, unlike previous Franco-American conflicts during which the repression against France was sometimes flagrant, as in the war in Iraq to which France had opposed.
Although Macron's response was restricted on Wednesday, his government spokesman said Trump's critics had struck the chord.
Asked earlier about Trump's tweets, French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said they had been posted the day France was mourning the anniversary of the bombings in Paris.
"Yesterday, it was November 13, we were committing the murder of 130 people," Griveaux said. "So I'll answer in English:" common decency would have been appropriate. "
Report by Michel Rose; Edited by John Irish and Marie-Louise Gumuchian