Trump in France: Macron greets US president ahead of talks

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during a welcome ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris, France, 13 July 2017Image copyright
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Mr Trump told Mr Macron at Les Invalides in Paris that his welcome was “so beautiful”

French President Emmanuel Macron has welcomed Donald Trump to Paris with an official military ceremony.

The US president then visited the tomb of Napoleon ahead of Friday’s Bastille Day celebrations.

The two leaders are expected to discuss joint efforts to combat the so-called Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The trip is aimed at reaffirming historic ties but comes amid tension following Mr Trump’s recent withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Air Force One touched down at Orly airport in Paris earlier on Thursday; Mr Trump and the First Lady emerging from their flight across the Atlantic in an effort to help strengthen US-France relations.

“Emmanuel, nice to see you. This is so beautiful,” Mr Trump said as he was met by Mr Macron at the Hotel des Invalides, near the site of the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, the former French military and political leader.

Despite their clear differences, Paris has emphasised that Mr Macron will work to reaffirm historic ties between the two allies to prevent the US from being isolated.

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AFP/Getty Images

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The two presidents reviewed the troops during the ceremony at Les Invalides

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The two-day visit is seen as an opportunity to reaffirm US-France relations

Following the ceremony at Les Invalides the leaders moved on to the Élysée Palace.

During the two-day visit, Mr Trump will also dine with Mr Macron at the Eiffel Tower and watch the Bastille Day parade on the Champs-Élysées.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of US forces entering World War One, and for this occasion US and French troops will be marching together in the parade.

Speaking to the BBC, the former US diplomat and state department official, William Jordan, said the visit was likely to be viewed by Mr Trump as an opportunity for the US president to be “taken seriously in the world”.

“I think that there’s a lot of symbolism in this,” he said, adding: “I doubt that there’s going to be very much more beyond substantive discussion.”

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AFP/Getty Images

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The presidents and their partners visited Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb

Demonstrations are expected to take place during Mr Trump’s visit. French protesters have planned a “No Trump Zone” at the Place de la Republique. The Facebook page for the event states: “Trump is not welcome in Paris”.

Mr Trump’s visit to Paris comes amid fresh allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, with his eldest son admitting he held a “nonsense” meeting that had promised Russian government information about his father’s democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump has since described the mood in the White House as “fantastic” and told Reuters that the administration was “functioning beautifully”.

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