Maintaining healthy ties with President Donald Trump is essential despite clear differences of opinion, the leaders of France and Germany said Thursday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, finishing up a French-German summit in Paris taking place back-to-back with a visit by Trump, said that last week’s G-20 summit in Hamburg showed common ground, for instance on fighting terrorism, but “we also had to name clear differences, for instance regrettably the difference on whether we need the Paris climate accord or not.”
She added: “We did not paper over these differences, but nevertheless contact, the ability to speak is of course important.”
Merkel noted that “we all agree that we need close cooperation on security questions with the United States of America, despite all differences of opinion.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said he and Merkel are on the same wavelength. He expressed surprise that some might question his invitation to Trump to mark the centennial of U.S. troops’ arrival in France in World War I.
Trump is in Paris to mark Bastille Day, the French national day, on Friday and commemorate the anniversary of the U.S. World War I effort. U.S. troops will march at Friday’s military parade.
“We should never forget that history is bigger than us,” Macron said.