- Title: Trump and Macron may not be odd couple after all
- Date: 11th July 2017
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF ELYSEE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE FRENCH FLAG FLYING
- Embargoed: 25th July 2017 18:48
- Keywords: Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Bastille Day July 14 France United States diplomacy
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / PARIS, FRANCE / HAMBURG, GERMANY / NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES /
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / PARIS, FRANCE / HAMBURG, GERMANY / NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES /
- Country: France
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0056P9XB9J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Donald Trump's relationship with Emmanuel Macron got off to an awkward start, with a jaw-clenching handshake at a summit in Brussels before the French president rebuked the U.S. leader for his attitude on climate change.
At first glance, the two men have little in common: Trump is an anti-globalist elected on a pledge to "make America great again" who is unpredictable on foreign policy. Macron, 39, is an ardent European integrationist more than three decades younger who sees himself as an honest broker of international relations.
Yet when the two leaders meet this week in Paris they will seek common ground on diplomatic and military endeavours. Both have a political interest in building a rapport, and both have a corporate background that may help underpin their relationship.
For the French Institute for International Relations' U.S. politics specialist, Laurence Nardon, Macron began his diplomatic relations with Trump by acting as a "bully" to show he could not be fooled with. He mocked Trump's "make America great again" slogan with his own "make the planet great again" after the U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate accord.
But after being seen joking around with the U.S. leader at the recent G20 summit in Hamburg and extending an invitation to Trump to attend France's national day commemorations on July 14, Macron is now showing a friendlier side.
Trump, 71, and Macron, 39, are political outsiders, the American a real estate mogul, his French counterpart a former investment banker. They both love a good deal, demand tangible results rather than lofty ambition, and have a penchant for showmanship.
Having blown apart mainstream political parties and redrawn their countries' political landscape, they now have shared political objectives: both cite crushing Islamic State and countering global terrorism as a leading priority.
At the July 14 Bastille Day commemorations, Trump will bask in a ceremony laden with pageantry and military pomp, with U.S. soldiers parading down the Champs Elysees.
For Macron, France's youngest leader since Napoleon, it is an opportunity to use soft diplomacy to win Trump's confidence and set about influencing U.S. foreign policy at a time European diplomats say Washington lacks direction.
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