Trump and Macron seek unity before armistice centenary

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French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion for a joint European army is "very insulting", Donald Trump said on Friday (Nov 9) on arriving in Paris for ceremonies to mark the end of World War 1.

Trump sent a tweet calling Macron's proposal "very insulting" as the US president's plane landed Friday evening for celebrations with world leaders commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Macron on Saturday.

"If there is anyone today who is carrying the conflict, it is Emmanuel Macron", Le Pen told France's Radio Classique, as quoted by Le Figaro daily.

Macron has repeatedly called for the European Union to build up its defence capabilities in view of Trump's demands that the European Union shoulder more of the financial burden for ensuring its own security.

"We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army", he continued.

Macron said in an interview earlier this week that Europe needs to protect itself against "China, Russia and even the United States" in terms of cyberspace.

The US president tweeted after arriving in Paris ahead of an worldwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on November 7, 2018.

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A total of 60 world leaders, including President Trump, will be in Paris this week to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

The US leader and his wife Melania are on their second visit to Paris since July 2017 when Trump was Macron's guest of honour at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

The French president, who has enacted major defence spending hikes to bring France in line with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending targets, is spearheading the creation of a nine-country European rapid reaction force, independent from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Around 70 world leaders are gathering in Paris for events marking the Armistice that ended World War One, which was signed 100 years ago this Sunday.

President Donald Trump is assuring that the United States will "help" with European defense but repeated his insistence that nations on the continent pay their fair share.

"When President Trump has to protect one of the states of the United States he doesn't ask France or Germany or another government of Europe to finance it".

Trump and first lady Melania Trump will also visit the American cemetery in Belleau, France, on Saturday to pay their respects to USA soldiers who died on French soil during the war. "I don't think we have time set aside for that meeting".

The president, joined by his wife Melania and high-ranking U.S. officials, arrived late on Friday aboard Air Force One for a visit that he called "very special" and one that he "looked forward to".

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