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Trump And Macron Agree Europe Should Increase Its Defense Spending

Their meeting took place before a number of world leaders were to attend events for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Posted at 4:11 PM, Nov 10, 2018

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on Saturday that Europe must increase its defense spending. 

But the agreement came after a bumpy start with a tweet from President Trump, who returned to a common sticking point between him and European leaders: NATO. 

Trump said "Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO" after Macron suggested European countries should better coordinate their resources to form a "real European army" in response to America's unreliability as an ally. A French official said President Trump had taken Macron's words out of context.

But by the time the two got down to diplomacy, things appeared to be smoothed over.

"I do share President Trump's views that we need much better burden sharing within NATO. And that's why I do believe that my proposals for European defense are totally consistent with that," Macron said.

"We want a strong Europe. It's very important to us to have a strong Europe. And whichever way we can do it the best and most efficient will be something that we both want," President Trump said.

Trump is on a weekend trip to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. His visit to an American cemetery on Saturday afternoon was canceled due to rain, but he will visit a different American cemetery on Sunday. 

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.