US-France tension may complicate EU-Washington ties

PARIS, Retaliatory remarks by French and US Presidents, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump respectively, is adding tension to Paris-Washington ties, with American leader dismissing Macron’s call for a European army to protect continent.

A united European army is necessary to protect Europe from rival super powers, suggested Macron, as well as abandoning armament reliance on the US, a statement that angered Trump who was visiting Paris to mark 100 years since end of World War One.

Although Macron tried to contain Trump’s frustration and defuse what could have been a crisis between the two countries, the White House leader showed less enthusiasm than his 2017 visit.

Trump tweeted that Macron’s proposal to establish a European army “very insulting. but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly.” The European army issue might be high during talks between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, due end of December, especially after the Kremlin leader welcomed Macron’s comments.

“Europe is a powerful economic entity, a powerful economic union and it is quite natural that it wants to be independent, self-sufficient and sovereign in matters of defense and security,” Putin told RT France television.

Trump did not attend the peace forum in Paris hosted by Macron.

Macron and Trump are at odds over key issues like the Paris climate agreement and the Iranian nuclear agreement. Trump quit the two deals.

It was France that spearheaded European calls against US sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, and refused Washington’s determination to punish everyone dealing with Tehran.

Europe is seeking economic independence in order to maintain trade relations with Iran despite some opposition voices by some European countries.

There might be a new Europe that strengthens role of its single currency, the Euro, in international trade vis-a-vis the US Dollar. However, Trump will seek to maintain global domination of the Dollar.

Europe used to trust the US in all international files until Trump came to office, promoting America’s first policy.

Europe watched Trump withdrew from Paris climate agreement and recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel, a move Europeans considered a blow to the peace process.

Tension between the US and the European Union (EU) is experiencing tough moments and it is unknown how and when the two would overcome them.

Source: Kuwait News Agency