Trump says Macron’s call for European Army ‘very insulting’

America first not to come Trump to snub Macron-favored Paris Peace Forum

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". "Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the USA subsidizes greatly!", Trump tweeted as he arrived in France to meet with Macron.

Europe is the "main victim" of Trump's decision, Macron said in remarks made as he toured World War I battlefields ahead of the centenary of the November 11 armistice, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Macron, during a visit to the World War I Western Front at Verdun, told Europe 1 radio that in face of a revived threat from Moscow, Europe needed to "defend itself better alone".

"We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army". As he arrived, Trump tweeted that Macron "has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russian Federation".

He will attend the Paris Peace Forum being held to commemorate the centenary of the end to the First World War. At that meeting, Trump would not say whether he believed Putin or US intelligence agencies about their conclusions about Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Friday downplayed Trump's decision not to attend the inaugural Paris Peace Forum - to be attended by Putin and Erdogan - telling reporters in Paris the president had "a lot of pressing issues" to attend to.

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On Saturday afternoon, Mr Macron will meet Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in the town of Compiegne in northern France, where the Allies and Germany signed the Armistice.

Trump had been frequently criticizing European nations for failing to meet the official annual defense spending target of two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) set by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The primary objective of the president's visit, according to the administration official, will be attending ceremonies around the centennial commemoration of the end of World War I.

The Paris Peace Forum is part of the drive by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to reaffirm the importance of multilateralism and collective action in responding to current global challenges.

"I've seen what they have planned, and I think it's going to be something very, very special". "I don't know that we're seeing each other in Paris, but we may", Trump said.

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