News World Bromance cools for Trump and Macron

Bromance cools for Trump and Macron

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Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump meet in New York on Monday. Photo: Getty
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Gone is the shoulder squeezing, the affectionate dandruff-brushing and French President Emmanuel Macron’s hope he could use his unlikely friendship with Donald Trump to rein in the US President’s more incendiary instincts.

When the two men met on Monday in New York, they shook hands lightly and got down to the tasks at hand.

They agreed to disagree on the Iranian nuclear accord and Trump’s protectionist policies and one-sided support for Israel, according to two French presidential advisers.

The businesslike mood contrasted with Mr Trump’s fawning over Mr Macron at a state dinner in April, and Mr Macron’s lavish Eiffel Tower welcome for the Trumps last year.

Hours after their meeting, the two men laid out starkly different world views in speeches at the UN General Assembly.

“Nationalism always leads to defeat,” said the progressive, multilateralist Mr Macron.

“We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism,” said Mr Trump, trumpeting his America-first, zero-sum vision.

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Emmanuel Macron speaks at the UN. Photo: Getty

Mr Macron later ticked off ways Mr Trump has disappointed him – from his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and Iranian nuclear deal to unilateral tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Still, Mr Macron said he would keep working with Mr Trump on a “case by case” basis, and insisted that they were not rivals but pragmatic allies.

At their meeting “both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to closely coordinate to address global challenges”, the White House said.

Mr Macron specified that meant working together on Syria and a new US trade deal with Europe – as long as it did not involve such things as American GMO products that make European consumers wary.

Mr Macron appeared to convince Mr Trump to follow through on promises to visit Paris in November to mark 100 years since the armistice ending World War I, and added a possible battlefield tour to Mr Trump’s program.

And Mr Trump offered Mr Macron an unexpected compliment, praising him as the new “hardliner” of Europe for his tough stance on Brexit negotiations, according to the French officials.

Given Mr Trump’s combative, mercurial presidency, the French aides made a point to stress one positive thing about Mr Trump and Mr Macron’s latest sit-down session: no new conflicts emerged.

-with AAP