After two days of gushing mutual praise and hand holding, French President Emmanuel Macron has attacked some of Donald Trump’s core policies in an impassioned speech to Congress.
Seemingly speaking directly to Mr Trump, the French President urged the United States not to retreat from its historic military role in world affairs in an address met with a standing ovation from US lawmakers.
“We are living in a time of anger and fear” because of “global threats,” Mr Macron told a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday morning (AEST).
“You can play with fears and angers for a time, but they do not construct anything,” he said in an apparent reference to Mr Trump’s isolationist policy that helped him win the 2016 US election.
Mr Macron warned against withdrawing from the world in fear.
“We have two possible ways ahead. We can choose isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism. It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears,” he said.
“But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world.”
The French President proposed a “new breed of militarism” that was more effective, accountable and based on results.
“This requires more than ever the United States involvement,” he said.
Mr Macron reiterated French support for US sanctions on North Korea and a push for its denuclearisation, adding that Iran “shall never possess any nuclear weapons”.
But he warned against abandoning the multi-nation Iran nuclear deal, which has been publicly considered by Mr Trump.
Mr Macron also raised the threat of fake news, warning that lies disseminated online are threatening freedoms worldwide.
He also expressed confidence that US will re-join the Paris climate agreement, abaondoned by Mr Trump last year.
“Let us work together in order to make our planet great again,” Mr Macron said.
“Let us face it. There is no Planet B,” he added.
“I am sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement.”
Mr Macron’s speech was greeted with repeated standing ovations from members of Congress — including Republicans.
Kisses and hand holding
Mr Macron was speaking on the third day of his state visit to the United States, that began with mutual kisses between the presidents at the White House.
“I like him a lot,” Mr Trump explained to reporters and officials looking on.
The US President earlier gently brushed what he said was dandruff off Mr Macron’s shoulder.
“We have to make him perfect,” Mr Trump said of the French President. “He is perfect.”
Moments later, as they sat side by side, Mr Macron placed his hand on Mr Trump’s knee.
Mr Trump later took Mr Macron’s hand as they went to walk into the Oval Office, holding onto it as they strolled away.
Mr Trump and Mr Macron donned tuxedos and greeted each other with a traditional French two-cheek kiss before heading with their wives for a lavish state dinner on Wednesday.
The leaders gushed over each other during toasts at the affair.