The office of French President Macron says his comments on the need for an EU army have been misinterpreted by his US counterpart. Donald Trump lashed out at Macron on Friday over the proposal.
US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held talks on Saturday after a public spat over the French leader’s suggestion that Europe should rely less on the US for its security.
The US and France attempted to smooth over differences over a European defense mechanism, with Trump assuring Macron that Washington would “help” Europe with its defense.
Trump, however, reiterated that EU member states must pay their fair share toward NATO expenses.
The US president arrived in Paris on Friday to participate in commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
A ‘European Union army’
Macron said in a radio interview earlier in the week that the EU needed to protect itself against “China, Russia and even the United States.”
“Confronted by Russia, which is on our borders and which has shown itself willing to be threatening, we need to have a Europe that can better defend itself by itself and in a sovereign way, without depending solely on the United States,” he told Europe 1 broadcaster.
In response to Macron’s proposal, Trump took a jab at the French president in particular, and the EU in general.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia,” the US president tweeted.
“Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!” he added.