PARIS – The presidents of France and the United States, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump, respectively, said on Saturday they agreed that Europe needed to increase its contributions to common defense spending and work towards reinforcing the continent’s military capabilities.
Macron and Trump – who spoke with the former in Paris during his trip to attend commemorations of the end of World War I – reached this common position after a bilateral meeting at the Elysee Palace.
Macron told journalists that Europeans needed to share the burden of defense spending.
Trump had earlier in the day slammed his French counterpart on this issue in one of his characteristic, unorthodox tweets.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia,” Trump wrote. “Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!”