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Trump, Macron meet in Paris, discuss Europe’s security, financial burden

Trump, Macron meet in Paris, discuss Europe’s security, financial burden

Europe should be "strong" and shoulder a larger share of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense burden, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron agreed when they met after the United States president slammed the French leader's idea of a "real European army".

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron both want to get "greater detail" about the events surrounding Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing, a French presidential spokesman said following a meeting between the pair.

Referring also to cyber meddling in elections in the West, he said: "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States".

The Paris commemorations, centered on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, are set to feature warnings about the modern-day danger of nationalism.

Macron's office on Saturday acknowledged that his remarks "could create confusion" but stressed: "He never said we need a European army against the United States".

According to a French official who briefed reporters, the two presidents emerged from their hour-long meeting aligned on security matters after Macron explained his proposals.

After his meeting with Macron, Trump had been scheduled to head to the battlefield of Belleau Wood, 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of the capital, where USA troops had their breakthrough battle by stopping a German push for Paris shortly after entering the war in 1917.

While the American president shirked away from honoring the fallen heroes in France, other world leaders who were visiting for the celebration did pay their respects.

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French President Emmanuel Macron, second right, his wife Brigitte, U.S President Donald Trump, and first lady Melania Trump, left, leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, Saturday, Nov.10, 2018. The White House cited a scheduling conflict, saying the president instead would attend a Veterans Day ceremony to pay respects to USA soldiers who died on French soil.

Trump has made similar arguments, particularly in urging Nato's European members to increase its share of defence spending.

Travelling from across the world to monuments honouring soldiers who fell 100 years ago, victors and vanquished alike marked those sacrifices Saturday ahead of Armistice Day and assessed alliances that have been redrawn dramatically since the dark days of World War I.

The tension overshadowed the two presidents' latest meeting Saturday at the French presidential palace. While Republicans slightly expanded their majority in the U.S. Senate, they lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives to Democrats who may use their newfound power to launch investigations into Trump and stymie his agenda.

"We want to make these commemorations a time to reflect on the present, not just the past, so that they have a meaning for us today", an aide to Macron said earlier this week. Trump added that he and Macron are "getting along from the standpoint of fairness".

This wasn't the first time Trump has blamed his distaste for presidential duties on the weather.

Macron's political opponents have routinely criticized him for his relationship with Trump, and the French president came under heavy fire in April after the publication of a photograph from his White House visit appeared to show Trump leading Macron by the hand.

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