Donald Trump hits back at Emmanuel Macron for European army proposal

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The moment Air Force One touched down Friday at Orly airport, U.S. President Donald Trump blasted a caustic message for his host, terming French President Emmanuel Macron's call for a European military "very insulting".

"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America", Macron said.

Trump slammed Macron in a tweet, moments after he landed in Paris for a weekend trip to commemorate Armistice Day and attend the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which is being attended by several world leaders, including India's Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

Trump, who is visiting France with his wife Melania for the second time since becoming president, was referring to a call made by Macron on Tuesday for a "real European army".

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"Confronted by Russian Federation, 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 exclusively on the United States", he told Europe 1 broadcaster.

Macron, in the interview, also blasted Trump's recent announcement that Washington would withdraw from the 1987 INF Treaty limiting nuclear weapons that U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to.

For Sunday's anniversary, Trump was to join world leaders at a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. Trump has railed against trade deals with the European Union and has criticised some EU nations, including France, for not spending enough to defense to sustain North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the decades-old Western alliance formed as a bulwark to Moscow's aggression. The European Commission says closer defence cooperation "is not about creating an EU army".

Trump and Macron are schedule to have bilateral meeting during his stay in France.

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"The aim of the forum is to show that there are lots of forces in the worldwide system - states, NGOs, Foundations, intellectuals, companies - who believe we need a world of rules, an open world and a multilateral world", he said.

Trump is set to meet with Macron Saturday morning at the Élysée Palace in Paris, per USA Today.

"I don't think that this defense identity will start with an European Union army", Schinas said on Tuesday.

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. Although leaders like Mr Macron will not likely take kindly to the tone in the United States president's tweet.

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