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France’s Macron invites Trump to Bastille Day festivities

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-27

French President Emmanuel Macron invited his US counterpart Donald Trump on Tuesday to attend the country's traditional Bastille Day military parade, despite public differences over the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Macron invited Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to attend the parade that is held in the French capital every year on July 14. The French president’s office said the US leader promised to examine the invitation.

This year, the event will mark "the 100th anniversary of the US joining the war with French troops in World War I," an official in Macron's office said.

On July 14 last year, a radicalised Tunisian man killed 86 people as he rammed a truck through a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French Riviera city of Nice.

A Trump trip to Paris would follow a visit to France by Vladimir Putin in May when Macron hosted the Russian leader at Versailles palace.

The 39-year-old Macron made his mark on the international stage when he gave Trump a white-knuckle handshake at a NATO summit on May 25.

He later mocked Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Macron's English-language appeal to "make our planet great again" -- a riff on Trump's own slogan of making America great again -- became a social media hit.

Chemical ‘threat’

Macron and Trump also agreed on Tuesday on the need for a "joint response" in the event of another chemical attack in Syria.

They decided on the matter during a telephone call, a day after Washington said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing another chemical weapons attack.

The US warned that Assad’s government would pay a "heavy price" if it went ahead with such an assault.

A Pentagon spokesman said US intelligence had noticed suspect activity at the launch site of the regime's apparent chemical strike in April.

Days after that strike on a rebel-held town, the US launched a cruise missile strike on the airfield in retaliation -- the first direct US attack on the Syrian regime.

The French foreign ministry refused to say Tuesday whether it, too, had information about possible preparations by the Syrian regime for a chemical attack.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2017-06-27

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