Emmanuel Macron defends Donald Trump charm offensive in Paris

Emmanuel Macron defends Donald Trump charm offensive in Paris

French president Emmanuel Macron says his glamorous Paris charm offensive on Donald Trump might have changed the US president's mind about climate change.

Mr Macron said "Trump listened to me" on their main point of contention - Mr Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement - and "said he would try to find a solution in the coming months".

Mr Macron defended his reaching out to Mr Trump, telling the Journal Du Dimanche newspaper: "Our countries are friends, so we should be too."

After a tense, white-knuckle handshake at their first meeting in May, Mr Macron said they gained "better, intimate knowledge of each other" during Trump's visit last week.

The French leader acknowledged Mr Trump's visit was carefully choreographed to give Americans a "stronger image of France" after deadly Islamic extremist attacks damaged tourism.

Separately, President Macron denounced his country's collaboration in the Holocaust, attacking those who still downplay the French role in sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths.

Mr Macron said "it was indeed France that organised this," adding "not a single German" was directly involved, but French police collaborating with the Nazis.

Mr Macron, commemorating 75 years since a mass round-up of Jews, dismissed arguments by French far-right leaders that the collaborationist Vichy regime did not represent the French state, saying that is "convenient, but it is false."

At a ceremony attended by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Macron also pledged to fight continued anti-Semitism.

He called for a thorough investigation into the recent killing of a Parisian woman believed to be linked to anti-Jewish sentiment.

The emotional ceremony at the Vel d'Hiv stadium outside Paris included speeches by French Jewish leaders.

It was at this site during Nazi Germany's occupation of France in the Second World War that French police rounded up some 13,000 people on July 16-17 1942, before they were sent to camps. Fewer than 100 survived.

Pro-Palestinian and other activists protested against Mr Netanyahu's appearance, criticising Jewish settlement policy and the blockade of Gaza.

Mr Macron called it a "natural gesture" to invite Netanyahu.

But the president, who was due to hold separate talks with Mr Netanyahu, told the Journal Du Dimanche newspaper he is "not trying to confuse the subject of the commemoration and Franco-Israeli relations."

More on this topic

Trump says he was unhappy with supporters chanting ‘send her back’Trump says he was unhappy with supporters chanting ‘send her back’

Donald Trump spoke with aides about squashing news stories, records showDonald Trump spoke with aides about squashing news stories, records show

#IStandWithIlhan: Support for Ilhan Omar after ‘send her back’ chants at Donald Trump rally#IStandWithIlhan: Support for Ilhan Omar after ‘send her back’ chants at Donald Trump rally

Donald Trump leans into issue of race in bid for 2020 re-electionDonald Trump leans into issue of race in bid for 2020 re-election

More in this Section

Diabetes increases risk of heart failure more in women than men – studyDiabetes increases risk of heart failure more in women than men – study

Branson ‘ready to head into space’ after few more Virgin Galactic testsBranson ‘ready to head into space’ after few more Virgin Galactic tests

Hamilton creator joins protests against Puerto Rico governorHamilton creator joins protests against Puerto Rico governor

US warship destroyed Iranian drone, says TrumpUS warship destroyed Iranian drone, says Trump


Lifestyle

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich will not let a day pass without his ritual dip in the sea, which he describes as the best anti-depressant ever, says Lorna Siggins.Taking the plunge has a depth of benefits

10% of women suffer from it worldwide.As Alexa Chung reveals she has endometriosis, here’s everything you need to know about the condition

Pinnies, cookie cutters and wooden spoons at the ready.Food projects to do with the kids this summer

Stop. Climbing. Uluru.As tourists rush to climb Uluru despite an incoming ban – 5 ways to enjoy the rock respectfully

More From The Irish Examiner