Trump calls French President Macron's idea for a European army 'very insulting'

Flag commemorating the Franc Russian alliance before WWI

Flag commemorating the Franc Russian alliance before WWI

Trump's tweet, issued shortly after he arrived in the French capital Paris, comes days after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that Europe should create its own army to protect itself from potential enemies including Russia, China - and the United States.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation which the US subsidizes greatly!"

Earlier this week, Emmanuel Macron voiced plans to build a single European army to boost the EU's defence capability as well as military independence from the United States.

"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America", Macron said on French radio, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr Macron has been a longstanding critic of Trump.

"I don't know that we're seeing each other in Paris, but we may", Mr Trump said. "We must have a Europe that can defend itself more, without just relying on the U.S".

US President Donald Trump is shifting his post-election focus with a weekend trip to Paris, joining an worldwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both publicly questioned whether Europe can depend on the U.S.to come to its aid in the event of war.

However, on other occasions, Trump has said that the US remains committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation despite concerns over its funding. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is a long-time supporter of the idea the European Union should have more common defense capability. The sanctions stem from Trump's efforts to exit or renegotiate an global deal struck during President Barack Obama's administration offering economic relief in exchange for a freeze of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Landing in Paris, he picked a fight with France's President Macron. The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.

The French claim that EI2, comprised of France, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Finland, will not be a standing European army, but a "rapid response" unit for joint military operations which would collaborate on military and humanitarian crises and deploy military responses. European leaders say maintaining trade ties is essential to keep Iran from exiting the deal and restarting development of nuclear weapons.

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