Trump fires back at European leaders after damp reception in France

Trump 'bashes' UK’s May after she calls to congratulate him on midterm results

AFP Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT

President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that "allies owe each other respect", after he was assailed on Twitter by US President Donald Trump after his visit to France for World War I commemorations.

"Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the US, China and Russia", Trump tweeted on Monday.

But asked whether there was a deeper misunderstanding between the two countries after Mr Macron's comments about a European army infuriated Mr Trump, the French President said being a USA ally did not mean being subservient.

More broadly, Macron's response and his initial provocation of Trump by denouncing nationalism show that the French leader realizes that politics is about much more than personalities.

Trump was only playing to a domestic audience, he added. He was confident enough to release words such as these because Trump knew his ratings were undeniably higher than Macron.

Theresa May's congratulatory call to Donald Trump following the US midterm elections didn't end with pleasantries between the two world leaders.

"To be honest, I don't do diplomacy or politics through tweets."

Veterans Day is a solemn affair - and perhaps none more dignified than November 11, 2018, the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I in Europe.

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The tariff rate on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods is set to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on January 1. He has often pointed to alleged currency manipulation, arguing that Beijing's policies hurt the USA financially.

After being invited to Paris to attend the Bastille Day military parade in July a year ago and receiving Macron and his wife for a state visit in Washington in January, Trump had praised Macron as a "great guy" and "a friend of mine".

Trump has often criticized his European allies for failing to meet their defense spending targets, leaving the USA to foot much of Europe's security bill.

Macron's view was echoed by liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt, a long-time proponent of a closer-knit, federal Europe. He doesn't need to respond to Trump's insults because fundamentally, they don't matter.

Trump believes that Britain is not trying to contain Iran. They were starting to learn German in Paris before the USA came along.

As for Trump today, he continues his conspicuous hostility toward the Western alliance, as seen in his running argument with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over its members' failure to meet their pledge to contribute 2 percent of their gross national product to defense spending. In a radio interview last week, Macron called for the establishment of an European Union that can defend the continent "without relying only on the United States". The White House later said that driving to the cemetery would have required many Paris roadways to be closed on short notice to accommodate the president's motorcade and that Trump didn't want to cause that kind of disruption. "Don't say I never give you anything".

"We are gathered together at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to the fearless Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle", Trump said at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in the suburbs of Paris, where more than 1,500 Americans who died in the war are buried.

France was the epicenter of World War I, the first global conflict.

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