Paris — Apr 23, 2018, 7:18 AM ET

What France expects from 1st state visit hosted by Trump

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French President Emmanuel Macron is arriving today in Washington for the first state visit of a foreign leader since President Donald Trump took office.

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For the 40-year-old Frenchman, the three-day trip is an opportunity to demonstrate the strong relationship between France and the United States, but also to discuss the topics on which the two allies diverge.

“Strong, deep, old and solid,” Nicholas Dungan, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a professor at Paris-based institute Sciences Po, said, describing the relationship between the United States and its oldest ally.

This U.S. invitation is perceived by the Elysée Palace – the French White House -- as an opportunity to “celebrate 250 years of friendship between our two countries.”

PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron walks with President Donald J. Trump as they leave Les Invalides museum in Paris, July 13, 2017. Ian Langsdon via Shutterstock
French President Emmanuel Macron walks with President Donald J. Trump as they leave Les Invalides museum in Paris, July 13, 2017.

Macron and Trump displayed their warm ties during last year’s Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

“They are getting along,” senior research fellow Marie-Cécile Naves of the French institute of International and Strategic Relations said, “especially if you compare to Trump’s relationship with other foreign leaders.”

The French and U.S. presidents recently proved their capacity to act together by striking the chemical facilities of the Assad regime in Syria during a military operation alongside the United Kingdom.

There are also topics of disagreement, most notably the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Accord and trade. Such issues will be discussed during the visit, according to the Elysée Palace.

Trump is due to decide in the coming weeks whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement.

PHOTO: Frances president Emmanuel Macron meets with President Donald Trump in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 18, 2017.Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
France's president Emmanuel Macron meets with President Donald Trump in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 18, 2017.

What kind of progress France makes on this issue during the state visit remains to be seen. “We will develop our arguments and try to convince, but we do not expect to make diplomatic breakthroughs,” the Elysée Palace said.

The French delegation is being cautious on the Iran agreement, senior research fellow Naves said, but “Emmanuel Macron still hopes to persuade Trump to remain in the deal; it would be a big diplomatic victory for the French president.”

The state visit will also be an opportunity for Macron to introduce himself to the U.S. people. He will address -- in English -- a joint session of Congress Wednesday.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands before a lunch ahead of a NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands before a lunch ahead of a NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.

“He will send a message of friendship, respect and affection toward the American nation,” the Elysee Palace said.

Macron will host a town hall with George Washington University students the same day, allowing him to reach a younger U.S. audience.

“Emmanuel Macron has characteristics that are more classically American than French,” the Atlantic Council’s Dungan said.

“He is professional, rigorous and understands the value of work.”

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  • ADDgolfer

    President Macron will bring with him a gift of symbolic importance to President Trump and the American people, an oak sapling taken from Bellau Wood
    At least we can be assured President Trump will not gift the French people an audible of The Art of the Deal on an IPad, as his predecessor did similar to the Queen of England

  • Armed and Psychotic Loner

    World leaders have learned to play Trump like a fiddle. They know that if they can just get past their intense dislike and contempt, instead showering him with compliments and feigned appreciation, they can gain many advantages for their countries.

  • Dicazi

    Great that one news outlet gets it right.
    France IS our oldest friend. Not England.

  • Chupacabra

    An surprisingly balanced story from ABC.

  • W.H.CIRCUS

    Will Trump be hitting on Macrons wife ?

  • TexasVulcan

    I wonder what Macron thinks of Trump privately. But I also bet he is smart and diplomatic enough to keep those feelings to himself. Also, Macron is probably smart enough to realize that enough well-placed compliments will have Trump eating out of his hand...

  • Jake the real Jake

    When Macron asked Trump if we can have "Pommes Frites" & pave de bouef with at the State dinner , Trump the genius replied we don't eat foreign foods a the White House"!

  • P.A.Brenner

    MAGA

  • Concerto

    So, wonder how long Trump talked with Pres. Hannity of Fox before and after the meetings to get instructions on what to do and say?

  • DWitney

    Hoping France asks us to return the Statue of Liberty , we no longer deserve the gift.

  • Forward forward

    The Mt Vernon dinner was interesting. The president who cannot tell the truth meeting at the home of the president who could not tell a lie.

  • FlorMedDoc

    Meanwhile the EU just gave Trump a big fat slap in the face as they and Mexico have agreed to an updated massive free trade deal. Mexico said the agreement will expand their exports and eliminate the need to rely on the U. S. The deal will assure U.S. companies that have production facilities in Mexico bypass any tariffs Trump assesses on EU parties.

  • Bernard Sandan

    buddies

  • tet1953

    I could be mistaken, but don't presidents usually meet and greet heads of state arriving for a state visit?

  • Jukka-Emil Vanaja

    Despite everything, France remains one of the few friends USA has that is actually willing to call it out when he's about to do something dumb. Iraq remains a case in point. It would be good to occasionally listen to those calls too.

  • BigRead

    Any chance the French might want to keep Trump you know considering that whole Jerry Lewis infatuation?

  • mrphilbert

    The French know how to plug their noses when encountering stinky cheese.

  • Rudi Stein

    Macron's old lady always looks like she just woke up from a bender

  • LastSecondTakedown

    It's amazing how every single comment here is of someone speculating what Macron really thinks, or what Trump really thinks. Every single comment is an insult of the President of the US. Yet, the actual article talks about how the two get along and how strong our ties are with France. Is there anything you guys can just be happy for, or are you so set on wanting the US to fail that you've completely lost your mind over it?

  • duckkdownn

    In France last year, Trump appraised Brigitte Macron, looking her up and down. “You’re in such good shape,” he said to her.

  • Glenn Woodruff

    Nothing about the Iran deal was good. It does not stop Iran from developing ballistic missiles that can carry Nuclear warheads. If you think Iran does not have Nuclear weapons already. You know little of History of that area and how long they have had Nuclear Power available.

  • Prophet With Honor

    This is merely an extended photo op.

  • duckkdownn

    Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast on the menu.

  • Lee Thompson

    I pity anyone who has to spend any time with Trump.

  • Jack25

    This is nuts,Trump wants to break the Iran deal which has been working and make an even more generous deal with North Korea, which we have no reason to believe will work. Clear Trump was wrong about NK intentions. He is an incompetent.