France and the U.S. must respect each other as allies that have a long history of military cooperation, French President Emmanuel Macron said, avoiding a direct jab at U.S. President Donald Trump after a public spat this week.
The French and the American leaders met on Saturday in Paris before ceremonies commemorating the centenary of the armistice of World War One.
Theresa May's congratulatory call to Donald Trump following the US midterm elections didn't end with pleasantries between the two world leaders.
That Mr. Trump, consciously or not, unleashed his Twitter diatribe on the third anniversary of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks that left 130 dead was of secondary concern to Mr. Macron, even if his spokesman did complain that the U.S. President should have shown "common decency" on such a solemn date for the French.
Mr Trump had earlier criticised Mr Macron's suggestion that a European army was needed, in part, to reduce reliance on the USA military.
"So I'll reply in English: "common decency" would have been appropriate."
He added: "The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of nearly 10%". The American president, however, decided it was "very insulting" - because in Trump's mind, Macron recommended building an army to protect Europe from Americans. The French unemployment rate is actually closer to 9 per cent.
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Earlier in the day Shailesh Vara , who backed European Union membership in the 2016 referendum, also quit as a junior minister. Dominic Raab served in May's government as justice minister, housing minister and then as Brexit secretary.
Mr Trump, referring to the push for a European military, tweeted that Mr Macron was "just trying to get onto another subject".
"By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France", Trump noted, "very proud people-and rightfully so!".
The French president then underscored the historic alliance between the two countries but insisted that France and Europe should not be subservient to the United States in matters of defense and security.
Macron repeated his earlier remark - which had so angered Trump - on the need for Europe to take charge of its own security instead of relying exclusively on the US.
He said: "Faced by Russian Federation, which is on our border and which has shown that it can be threatening ... we need to have a Europe that can better defend itself by itself, without depending exclusively on the United States". But Macron sought to allay fears that Europe meant to become a rival to the USA, while also stressing the continent's independence.
"Between allies, we owe each other respect and I don't want to hear the rest".
"The United States are our historic ally and will continue to be". "We should not depend on them".
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