France's Macron defends Europe from all sides _ including US

Aaron Brown
November 15, 2018

"We know what my attitude has been, and we want a strong Europe - very important to us to have a strong Europe", Trump said.

Facebook will allow French regulators to "embed" inside the company to examine how it combats online hate speech, the first time the wary tech giant has opened its doors in such a way, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.

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

Macron pointed out that he pledged to boost France's military spending even before Trump upbraided North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members past year for not paying enough for their own defense.

He added: "If we increase our budget, it's to build our autonomy".

The president also was to attend a leaders' lunch hosted by Macron.

As Trump's plane landed Friday evening, he sent a tweet calling Macron's proposal "very insulting".

It could travel to Facebook's European headquarters in Dublin and global base in Menlo Park, California if necessary, the company said.

Trump appeared particularly irked by the French leader's referral to the USA alongside China and Russian Federation as national security threats. "I do share President Trump's view we need much better burden sharing within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

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"It's a first", Macron said in describing the programme.

In addition to his meetings with Macron, Trump had been scheduled to visit the Belleau Wood battlefield and American cemetery on Saturday, but the trip was canceled as the rain prevented the planned helicopter excursion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he didn't have a separate meeting with President Donald Trump at events in Paris marking the end of World War I, but says they will meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina later this month.

He said Mr Macron's anti-nationalism speech was heavily directed towards US President Donald Trump.

Several world leaders also held bilateral meetings at the events.

Macron, a centrist, has repeatedly invoked the war in recent weeks to hammer home his message that rising nationalism is again destabilising the world.

On Saturday Macron and Merkel visited the town of Compiègne, north of Paris. Bells tolled across Europe's Western Front and fighter jets passed overhead to mark the exact moment the devastating war came to a close.

- Trump to skip peace conference - The isolationist USA leader has ducked out of a peace conference Sunday, which Macron and Merkel intend to use as a platform for promoting multilateralism.

The WWI commemorations come at a watershed moment for the liberal post-war order, with anti-immigration populists at the helm in the U.S. and Brazil, sharing power in Italy, and making strong gains in Germany, where Merkel has announced her resignation in 2021.

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