Only a few hours after President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize his French counterpart, Emmanual Macron hit back and said that he prefers not to “conduct his diplomacy through tweets.”
According to a report by the Daily Mail, President Macron appeared on a CNN show and told host Fareed Zakaria that tweeting is not his way of dealing with diplomatic matters.
“I always prefer having direct discussion or answering questions (than) making my diplomacy through tweets.”
On Friday, President Donald Trump took to his preferred social media outlet and said that “President Macron has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia.” Trump termed the comment “very insulting” and said that “perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of Nato, which the US subsidizes greatly!”
According to the report, President Macron made his comments after Trump landed in Paris on Saturday to attend events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
During the CNN interview, when Macron was asked if Trump’s tweet was a mistake, he said that he doesn’t know because he isn’t the one to command Trump’s tweets.
Trump’s began his short trip to Paris by angrily criticizing Macron for his “European army proposal,” but by the time the two leaders met for extended talks on Saturday, the situation had calmed down.
President Trump told his French counterpart that he “appreciated France’s willingness to pay more for its defense.”
“We have much in common in many ways — perhaps more ways than people would understand. We’re very much similar in our views,” Donald Trump said. “And I appreciate what you’re saying about burden sharing,” he added.
As the report detailed, President Macron began his session in French and said that he is “very delighted” to have Trump in Paris once again and said that he is looking forward to discussing the “strategic capability of Europe and its desire to take on a larger role in NATO.”
Macron explained that he shared President Trump’s perspective about better burden-sharing within NATO and added that the proposal that Macron has made for European defense is completely in line with that.
He further said that better burden-sharing within NATO means “more Europe within NATO, more capacity, in order to take our part of the burden,” which he said he considers “very fair and very important.”
President Trump added that the United States wants to absolutely be there and wants to help.
“We want to be a part of it. But different countries have to also help. That’s only fair. And I think the president — we’ve already discussed this — and the president and I very much agree on that.”
Trump also said that although the U.S. is ready to assist, Europe also has to be fair. “The United States can only do so much, in fairness to the United States”, Trump said.
Macron agreed and added that it is “unfair to have the European security today being assured just by the United States, therefore, a better burden sharing is required.
“That’s why I do believe that we need more European capacities, more European defense, in order to take this part of the burden,” he said.