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Emmanuel Macron unveils European defence coalition

10 November 2018

Donald Trump has criticised French President Emmanuel Macron for an "insulting" proposal to build up Europe's military to counter the US, China and Russian Federation.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the U.S. subsidises greatly".

Earlier this week, Emmanuel Macron voiced plans to build a single European army to boost the EU's defence capability as well as military independence from the United States. Europe is the "main victim" of Trump's decision, Macron said in remarks made as he toured World War I battlefields ahead of the centenary of the November 11 armistice, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Trump and Macron's early relationship was marked by kisses, frequent meetings and marathon power handshakes.

Macron, an ardent advocate of closer European integration, said a joint European Union military force was needed to wean Europe off American might, not least after US President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

Macron told Europe 1 radio that the "main victim" of the United States withdrawal from the INF accord was Europe and its security. "We must have a Europe that can defend itself more, without just relying on the U.S".

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An increasingly agitated President Donald Trump hurled insults at journalists on the White House lawn Friday morning as he was leaving to fly to Paris this weekend to attend ceremonies marking the centenary of the armistice that brought an end to the fighting in World War I.

Trump's brief visit to Europe comes amid uncertainty about the USA relationship with the continent. But the relationship-building failed to persuade Mr. Trump to remain in the global climate change or Iran deals and did nothing to protect France from US tariffs.

Trump and Macron also have extensive differences over trade and US sanctions on Iran.

Trump has criticized existing European tariffs and regulations on autos, and has said he believes it's unfair that barriers are higher for American auto manufacturers seeking to sell in Europe.

"We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army", he continued. While Republicans slightly expanded their majority in the US Senate, they lost control of the US House of Representatives to Democrats who may use their newfound power to launch investigations into Trump and stymie his agenda. The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.

Emmanuel Macron unveils European defence coalition