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Trump, Macron meeting in Paris for Bastille Day

13 July 2017

When the Germans return to Berlin, Macron's busy day continues as he holds talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.

This year, American troops will join their French allies in the annual parade, to mark 100 years since the USA intervened in World War One.

Paris: The European Union remains an incomplete project and will require changes to its treaties that bring greater convergence between euro zone member states, French President Emmanuel Macron said in comments published on Thursday.

Trump's visit to Paris this week, to celebrate 100 years since US troops entered World War One on the side of France and Britain, follows bruising talks on trade and climate policy that pitted him against leaders from the world's major economies at a G20 summit last weekend.

A White House official on Tuesday said Trump and Macron would discuss the civil war in Syria, where Islamic State is defending its last major urban stronghold of Raqqa, and counter-terrorism.

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According to the Élysée Palace, President Macron's office, Trump will be welcomed by the French leader tomorrow at Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon's tomb and a military museum. Far-left opposition leader Jean-Luc Melenchon accused Macron of endangering democracy by inviting Trump to Paris. Behind Donald Trump, there is United States of America.

"There's also a strong political dimension". When the world leaders gathered for the traditional "family photo", Macron is seen pushing through the crowd to stand next to Trump.

Mr Trump openly supported Mr Macron's far-right rival Marine Le Pen during the French presidential election, and allegations over possible Russian influence in both the USA and the French elections hang heavily over this visit. Just one month earlier, at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, the two had locked wrists in a "death-grip handshake", which Macron later said he meant not at all innocently but rather as "a moment of truth" to show Trump that France would not "make small concessions-not even symbolic ones". Joined by their wives, they will also have a private dinner in Paris.

During his two-day visit, Trump will meet with Macron, whose political fortunes have soared this year.

The French leader is also set to press Merkel for a financial and military contribution to a joint anti-jihadist regional force called the G5 Sahel made up of forces from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

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Macron, just 39, received a gushing election endorsement in May from former President Barack Obama.

As European nations languish with negative population growth, childless French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron blamed big families for Africa's poverty and underdevelopment.

"The visit is a win-win for both", said one French diplomat.

Its route winds along the Champs-Élysees, which has been the site of two recent attacks targeting police.

But what might be most surprising to Trump is not the firepower he sees.

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"We want to stress the importance of the enduring French-US relationship whatever current disagreements there might be at present", a senior French official said on condition of anonymity.