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Trump visits France to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I

His arrival in Paris is due to the centenary of the end of the World War I. Despite the tense atmosphere among US and France leaders, both tried to dispel the misunderstandings

Trump's visit to France had a difficult start

On Saturday, November 10 began the 48-hour visit of US President Donald Trump to Paris, where he met with Emmanuel Macron, the president of France. "President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia," Trump wrote on his Twitter account, even before he got off the plane.

Leer en español: La visita de Trump a Francia tuvo un difícil comienzo

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!" he tweeted a few minutes after landing in the French capital. His tweet referred to statements made on Tuesday, November 6 by Macron, who insisted on the need to strengthen European defense.

"Europeans will not be protected if they do not decide to have a real European army," he said. Then, he indicated that "we have to protect ourselves against China, Russia and even the United States." With his last words, he referred to Trump's decision to withdraw from the treaty for the elimination of medium- and short-range nuclear missiles (INF).

"When I see President Trump announcing that he is renouncing a major disarmament treaty that was formed after the euro missile crisis in the 1980s that affected Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security," said Macron, according to CNN information.

However, with the aim of dispelling tensions, on Saturday morning the French presidency pointed out that Macron "never said that we had to create a European army against the United States" and attributed it to a "confusion" in the interpretation of his words. In addition, the French president agreed that Europe should increase its financial contribution to military spending.

Why is Trump in France?

The real reason for Trump's visit is the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War I, in which he planned to visit the cemeteries of some of the 117,000 US servicemen who died in the war. This Saturday was destined to visit the American cemetery Aisne-Marne, near where the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought in 1918. However, the 80-kilometer trip was canceled due to bad weather, which generated an avalanche of criticism.

"President Trump a no-show because of raindrops? Those veterans the president didn't bother to honor fought in the rain, in the mud, in the snow, and many died in trenches for the cause of freedom. Rain didn't stop them and it shouldn't have stopped an American president," John F. Kerry, former US Secretary of State and Democratic White House candidate in the 2004 presidential election, said on his Twitter account.

On Sunday, November 11, dozens of heads of State and government attended the Arc de Triomphe for a solemn ceremony. Among the leaders who attended to commemorate the centenary of the end of the WWI are, in addition to Trump: Colombian President Ivan Duque and Costa Rican Carlos Alvarado, Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Felipe VI of Spain and the President of the government Pedro Sánchez.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended the ceremony. In addition, Macron organized a large Forum for Peace with the aim of defending multilateralism, which Trump would not attend in order to visit the Suresnes American Cemetery.

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez

Translated from "La visita de Trump a Francia tuvo un difícil comienzo"

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