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1ST LEAD Trump and Macron all smiles at Bastille Day parade By Pol O Gradaigh, dpa

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Paris (dpa) - US President Donald Trump stood by the side of his French host Emmanuel Macron on Friday to review a contingent of US troops who headed Paris‘ annual Bastille Day parade.

The two men greeted each other warmly after Macron rode down the Champs-Elysees to meet him in an open-topped military vehicle accompanied by military chief of staff General Philippe de Villiers.

It was the second day of Trump‘s highly-publicized visit to Paris. Macron is pulling out all the stops to ensure the US president is not isolated despite differences with Western leaders on trade policy and climate change.

Some 145 US forces from the army, the navy, the air force and the marines led the parade in commemoration of the US entry into World War I alongside France 100 years ago.

The first five troops were wearing World War I-era uniforms. Earlier, French soldiers preparing for the parade had enthusiastically posed for photographs with them.

Trump saluted as they passed, while Macron and his wife Brigitte stood and applauded.

The Trump visit has been a success so far, with the US leader describing Macron as a "great leader" and a "tough president" after their talks at the Elysee Palace on Thursday.

Trump also hinted at possible concessions on his decision - much criticized by Macron at the time - to withdraw from the Paris accord on limiting climate change.

The two also found much common ground on the less contentious issue of combating terrorism and extremism.

Trump appeared to appreciate the pomp and splendour of an official visit to Paris, thanking Macron for "the tour of some of the most incredible buildings anywhere in the world" at the Hotel des Invalides, where he was received with military honours and visited the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The visit, which also included a private dinner for the two presidential couples high above Paris in the Eiffel Tower, did not entirely take Trump‘s mind off domestic affairs, however.

Just before meeting Macron on Friday, he wrote a series of tweets calling on US Republican senators to push through a replacement for his predecessor Barack Obama‘s healthcare measures.

"After all of these years of suffering thru ObamaCare, Republican Senators must come through as they have promised!" Trump tweeted.

Quizzed by a US journalist Thursday, Trump strongly supported his son Donald Trump Junior over the latter‘s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign in a bid to acquire damaging information on opponent Hillary Clinton.

"From a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting," Trump said, describing his son as "a great young man."

This year‘s Bastille Day also marks the first anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack that killed 86 people in the southern city of Nice when a truck ploughed through crowds gathered to watch the traditional fireworks display.

At the end of the parade, military musicians - standing in positions that spelled out the letters N-I-C-E from above - played the city‘s anthem.

After he bids farewell to Trump, Macron is due to attend a memorial ceremony in Nice alongside mayor Christian Estrosi.


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