Trump rips Macron for proposing new European Union army to defend against US

Emmanuel Macron unveils European defence coalition

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The row over European Union defence risks overshadowing commemorations to be attended by 70 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He wasted no time mixing it up with his host, tweeting as he arrived in France that President Emmanuel Macron had made an "insulting" proposal to build up Europe's military to counter the US, China and Russian Federation.

This week Macron called for a "real European army" to protect against China, Russia, and the United States.

During an interview with radio station Europe 1 he said the trade bloc needed to be less reliant on the United States, particularly following Trump's decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

Trump had been frequently criticizing European nations for failing to meet the official annual defense spending target of two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) set by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Trump has demanded that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries spend more on their own defense and has questioned whether the US should remain in the alliance. "Europe and its security", Macron said.

The US President Donald Trump has criticised a suggestion by President Macron of France for a joint European army as "very insulting".

The primary goal of the president's visit, according to the administration official, will be attending ceremonies around the centennial commemoration of the end of World War I.

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For Sunday's anniversary, Mr Trump is to join world leaders at a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe.

"We have many countries - the leadership from many countries will be there, especially since they heard the United States will be there".

Macron and other European leaders have repeatedly criticized Trump's efforts to undermine the deal, and have sought to create a special mechanism that would allow the bloc to avert USA sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

"I think it will be something very, very special", he said.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton Friday downplayed Trump's decision not to attend the inaugural Paris Peace Forum - to be attended by Putin and Erdogan - telling reporters in Paris the president had "a lot of pressing issues" to attend to.

It's a sign of the increasingly different view Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron have towards multilateral institutions.

Trump launched a broadside at Macron via his preferred medium of conducting foreign policy - Twitter. That now seems more likely for later this month, when they attend the Group of 20 summit of worldwide leaders in Argentina.

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