Paris: US President Donald Trump expressed strong displeasure upon French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a European army, leaving the United States out. A few days ago, the French President had stated in an article that Europe needed to build a ‘real European army’ to protect itself from the United States, Russia and China.
Since the last few years, the European Union (EU) has made efforts for building an independent European army, and Germany and France have taken the lead for it. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom bitterly opposed their lead and has outright rejected all the proposals presented to the EU in its regard. However, as the United Kingdom is stepping out of the bloc after Brexit, the activities for an independent European army, are gaining momentum.
French President Macron reiterated the proposal for a European army during an interview with the ‘Europe 1’ radio. Macron presented his stance saying, ‘Europe needs a strong European army to protect itself from China, Russia and even the United States’. The mention of the United States in the same tone as China and Russia caused a sensation.
During the interview, President Macron also mentioned the withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF), an arms treaty with Russia. He suggested that Europe and its security were at risk due to the US pullout from the deal and the United States was solely to blame for it.
Trump condemned Macron’s statements and retorted to them by saying, ‘President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its military to protect itself from the US, China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidises greatly!’.
President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Since the last few months, the tensions between the United States and France are on the rise and the sanctions over Iran as also trade tariffs imposed on Europe are its primary reasons. At the same time, the US President’s policy regarding Europe and his support for the nationalist groups, are also points of dispute. Under such circumstances, the issue of an independent European army would only cause the tensions between the two nations to escalate.