President Trump touched down in France Thursday on a mission to reinvigorate the transatlantic alliance between Washington and Paris.
The American president and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron were parties to a contentious (and awkward) handshake on the sidelines of a May NATO summit. The two leaders are expected to have one-on-one discussions today over the ongoing Islamic civil war in Syria, seeking common ground on what objectives the West hopes to secure there.
Pose for formal photo Pres and Mme Macron and Pres and Mrs Trump. pic.twitter.com/PfAtav8EvT— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 13, 2017
Trump and Macron continue to be on opposite sides of the fence on the Paris Climate Agreement. In early June, Trump announced that the U.S. would no longer be a party to the agreement, citing high costs, an unfair balance structure, and an ineffective system. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” the president said, explaining his rationale in a speech from the White House Rose Garden.
Trump’s decision to depart the Paris agreement drew praise from his supporters, along with most of the American public. It was received as a win for American sovereignty, reinforcing the America-first platform that the president campaigned on.
But across the Atlantic, America’s exit from the Paris accord caused great upset among the eco-statist class across Europe. It led Macron to wage a campaign making light of Trump’s famous “Make America Great Again” slogan. The French president titled his project “Make Our Planet Great Again.” Not just Macron, but other prominent European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May voiced their opposition to U.S. withdrawal.
Nonetheless, the two leaders will attempt to show that the bonds between the two long-term allies are secure as ever over dinner tonight at Le Jules Verne, a fancy restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.
On Friday, President Trump will attend a Bastille Day ceremony that commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which marked a turning point in the French Revolution. Trump will also attend a military parade marking the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I.
Getting rdy to leave for France @ the invitation of President Macron to celebrate & honor Bastille Day and 100yrs since U.S. entry into WWI.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
France remains a country mired in a self-acquired Islamic terrorism problem. The surge in migrants from the Middle East and North Africa has turned France into a country rife with Sharia law-enforcing no-go zones and an out-of-control anti-Semitism problem. French Jews continue to flee the country in record numbers to more Jewish-friendly nations such as the United States and Israel.
Last year’s Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France, were marked by a vicious, atrocious Islamic terror attack that killed 86 people and injured 458 others. The Islamic State terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack.