Trump Arrives at Elysee Palace to Meet France's Macron

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The US leader had taken to Twitter moments after getting off the plane in the French capital to say Macron's plan for a European military was 'insulting'.

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".

Mr Macron's office hinted that Mr Trump may have misinterpreted the remarks, saying they "could create confusion" but stressing that...

On Saturday morning Trump was in more conciliatory form.

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Friday for Paris, France, to participate in the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum which opens on Sunday and ends on Tuesday.

Given the somber nature of the occasion, dozens of tweeters called out Trump for using the word "celebrate" instead of "commemorate".

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French officials said Macron's mooted European Union "army" was merely a call for closer defence integration.

Sunday afternoon will see Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel attend a peace conference - the Paris Peace Forum - with leaders including Mr Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump's talks with Macron at the Elysee are likely to cover European concerns about Trump's plans to withdraw the United States from the 1980s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement and USA renewal of sanctions against Iran.

The tone of this visit will be markedly less festive.

Trump was slated on Saturday to visit Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near the village of Belleau, France.

The nationalist and protectionist Trump has increasingly clashed with European allies over his America-first policies.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also publicly stated that Europe can no longer rely on USA military might alone. "And we look forward to that", Mr Trump told reporters before leaving the White House.

Trump's tweet just after landing in Paris that was highly critical of Macron is expected to strain the US-French relationship.

He is specifically pushing for the creation of a nine-country European force, independent from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, that could rapidly mount a joint military operation, evacuate civilians from a war zone, or provide aid after a natural disaster.

His only bilateral meeting is with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday, where issues like Syria, Iran, and trade could come up.

"We want a strong Europe, it's very important to us, and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want", said Trump.

Macron met British Prime Minister Theresa May near the Belgian border Friday to try to make progress on a Brexit deal and remember the fallen on the battlefields of the Somme.

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"It should be a very handsome period of time, the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I".

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