Visiting France to join President Emmanuel Macron to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14, President Donald Trump and the French leader held a press conference during which they aired their differences over the 2015 Paris climate accord. Speaking diplomatically while he and Macron stood behind lecterns on a common dais, Trump said about Barack Obama’s signature environmentalist initiative: "Something could happen with respect to the Paris accords."
Trump then added: "Let's see what happens, but we will talk about that over the coming period of time and if it happens that will be wonderful and if it doesn't that'll be okay too."
For his part, Macron said that he is in "strong disagreement" with Trump, but said he "respected" the fact that Trump is adhering to his "campaign commitments." France, Macron said, remains faithful to the accord. While he admitted that there has been no "sudden and unexpected change," Macron said, "I hope in the end to be able to persuade him."
Trump paid tribute during his opening remarks to the one million Frenchmen who have fought alongside Americans to “defend our freedom” and “our civilization.” He recognized France as "America's first and oldest ally." Trump said, "France helped us secure our independence," he went on, and said the two countries have an "unbreakable bond.” He called Macron a "friend."
Months ago, Trump expressed concern over security in Paris, saying that the French capital was infested with terrorists. At the press conference, he expressed confidence in the new French president. "It's going to be just fine because you have a great president. I think is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. He's a tough president. I really have the feeling that you are you going have a very peaceful and beautiful Paris. I'm coming back," he said.
Brigitte Macron, 64, and First Lady Melania Trump later slipped out for a private visit to the cathedral of Notre Dame, where Mrs. Trump lit a candle in prayer.
The two presidents held talks at the Elysée Palace. President Trump and the First Lady, President Macron and his wife, dined together at the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.
On Bastille Day on Friday, Trump and Macron will review both American and French troops marching down the Champs-Elysées -- where their counterparts of the First and Second World Wars held their victory parades and celebrations. The parade will feature 63 planes, 29 helicopters, 241 horses, and 3,720 soldiers. In addition, approximately 11,000 members of security forces will be on guard.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.