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Radu Dobriţoiu

24 Aprilie 2018
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French President Emmanuel Macron is the first Head of State that the US President Donald Trump has invited for a state visit to Washington.

RRA Global Agenda: Journalist Nicolas Don about Macron's visit to the US


French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington for the first state visit of a foreign leader since US President Donald Trump took office. 

For the French President (40 years old), the three-day trip is an opportunity to demonstrate the strong relationship between France and the United States, but also to discuss the topics on which the two allies diverge.

On Wednesday, President Macron will address - in English - a joint session of Congress, ABC News reports.

Radio Romania News Producer Ianna Ioniţă discussed about this visit in the Global Agenda of April 23 with her special guest, journalist Nicolas Don.

Host: French President Emmanuel Macron is the first Head of State that the US President Donald Trump has invited for a state visit to Washington. Before departure, Macron said he would ask Trump: "What are your priorities? You do not provoke a trade war with your ally". Will he convince him?

Nicolas Don: We do not know, because Emmanuel Macron has just arrived in the US. I saw the arrival pictures - the red carpet, Emmanuel Macron with Brigitte Macron, a very important thing, La Marseillaise (France's National Anthem n.a.), a speech in English and then in French delivered by the French President ...

Host: In a perfect English that he will use in front of the Congress too!

Nicolas Don: A perfect English, with a considerable drop of French accent, which is highly appreciated in the US. This is part of the French charm in America. But it is true that Macron is a French President who speaks very good  English.

But I would also like to note one thing: Emmanuel Macron is also a social networking advocate and has just published a statement on Twitter - as the US says - a statement that sounds like this and is very important: "The US and France have a special responsibility. We, the Americans and the French, are guaranteeing contemporary multilateralism" - which means, in a diplomatic language: there are no longer single power poles, there is no more America, Russia, China or Europe, the world we live in is a multipolar world. So this is a prerequisite for any discussion (..). It is true that Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump have a very special relationship. There is a lot of insistence on their personal relationship at the very level of friendship - they eat together – so let us not forget the symbols, which are extremely strong. Donald Trump was highly impressed when he came to Paris last year for the 14th of July, France's National Day, on Champs Elysées - he wanted to impose same parades in the US, but failed so far; it's not an American custom. He was also greatly impressed by the dinner-for-four on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, in the Jules Verne restaurant, prepared by the great French chef Alain Ducasse, and he will now give Emmanuel Macron a replica, a positive and equally full-of-symbols replica. The four will have a "tete-a-tete" dinner and, if time allows, at Mount Vernon, Virginia, home of President George Washington, the first President of the United States, where no such official dinner has been organized for 50 years now. 

But to summarize what the French press is saying about this visit and high-level encounter, I have to say the quite amusing formula found by a journalist from FRANCE 2, the national television station: they (Macron and Trump, n.a.) talk a lot together, all the time, but they do not agree on any subject (..). I would like to make a very important statement about Syria: it is not about supporting Bashar al-Assad, neither France nor the United States wants it, but Assad has become inconceivable - as we say in French - now in Syria. The problem is different: it is that Donald Trump has promised the withdrawal of the US troops - there are about 2,000 soldiers there, plus special American and French troops, who, if they withdraw, are the ones who protect Kurdish troops from Turkey's anger, that wants their absolute elimination. Kurdish troops are important: they are the ones that, in military terms, allowed the defeat of the Islamic State. So France calls on the United States not to withdraw from Syria, otherwise the Kurdish troops will be swallowed by Syria's offensive, by Bashar al-Assad regime, plus Turkey, plus, of course, the Russian support. Trump said he was thinking about it, and this is not the only reason for the differences of opinions. The visit can be very symbolic, very beautiful, with many warm colors, with many beautiful pictures for newspapers and magazines, but with results that we do not yet know how to estimate. I do not know if there will be concrete results. Dialogue counts, symbols - the same. We will see the concrete result after three days.

Host: But Washington will go with the same message as Macron and Angela Merkel towards the end of the week.

Nicolas Don: Not necessarily! I'm sorry to contradict you. Angela Merkel is forced to play in the Franco-German dialogue, in the eternal Franco-German play, ever since the European Union, the one of the Franco-German engine – Europe’s engine, but let’s not forget that Angela Merkel ...

Host: ... does not have such a special relationship with Donald Trump.

Nicolas Don: No she doesn’t, and she neither has free hands like Emmanuel Macron, she has negotiated a coalition for several months, sort of a coalition between the Social Democratic Party, with pro-Macron views on Europe, and the German conservatives, who do not advocate any kind of opening, so then lady Merkel has no free hands to negotiate much. Plus, as you say, the relationship with Donald Trump is a classic one - not to say "cold". So we can’t foresee the result yet (..) but the truth of today is not necessarily the truth of tomorrow. President Macron's merit, indeed, is that he has maintained a constant dialogue. For now there is a strong personal relationship, but once again, business is business, and that excludes personal feelings.

Host: This remains to be seen. Thank you very much!

Source:RRA. ABC News.Translated by Miruna Matei


Etichete Exclusiv RadioEmmanuel Macron în SUAemisiunea Agenda GlobalăNicolas DonIanna Ioniţă

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