The world is watching as French President Emmanuel Macron visits the United States and President Trump. Macron delivered a short speech at the White House on Tuesday and will be participating in a number of meetings with the President before he delivers an address before the U.S. Congress later in the week.
The timely visit comes amid the international community being forced to reevaluate their decision on the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump has previously remarked that the deal was poorly negotiated and should be scrapped, which Macron has argued the deal is effective and is still supported by the international community.
Pres. Trump: “It is truly fitting that we are holding our first official state visit with the leader of America’s oldest ally, the proud nation of France.” https://t.co/XOGk2bInes pic.twitter.com/g31zWXxwyG
— ABC News (@ABC) April 24, 2018
Per ABC News:
French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte arrived at the White House Monday evening to the pomp and circumstance typical of a state visit, the choreography of which he is expected to balance against a delicate diplomatic effort to persuade President Donald Trump to remain in the Iran nuclear deal.
Macron, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel are making back-to-back visits with the president this week in a last-minute lobbying push to prevent the president from potentially sabotaging the agreement.
While Trump turned on a major charm offensive with lavish pageantry as soon as the Macrons touched down in Washington for Trump’s first state visit, it’s unclear if that will result in any movement in his commitment not to sign an upcoming May 12 waiver of sanctions against Iran without significant changes implemented by Congress.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif previously warned that if the United States backs out of the deal, resulting in the implementation of sanctions against Iran’s economy, then his country would respond with “not pleasant” options.
“We have put a number of options for ourselves,” the Foreign Minister said. “And those options are ready, including options that would involve resuming at much greater speed our nuclear activities.”
Trump: “Now is the time for strength. So let us be strong, let us be united, let us honor our past and face our future with confidence and with pride.” pic.twitter.com/CNGGYsviYG
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 24, 2018
Here’s more on Macron’s visit:
Macron separately appeared on Fox News over the weekend where he said the president runs the risk of Iran rebooting its nuclear program in a manner comparable to North Korea’s own activity which over the past year has thrown the region to the brink of crisis.
“I don’t have any plan B for nuclear against Iran,” Macron said. “That’s why I just want to say, on nuclear, let’s preserve a framework because it’s better than a North Korean type of situation.”
The intricacies of the Iran deal seemed far from the agenda Monday evening, with the Macrons pulling up a White House north driveway lined with military members and flags of every state. The Trumps greeted them at the entrance to the West Wing.
The foursome then made their way to the South Lawn, where the two leaders ceremoniously planted a sapling, a gift from the Macrons, that according to the first lady’s office was grown in Belleau Wood, the site of a landmark battle during World War I in which more than 9,000 American Marines perished.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) April 24, 2018
The French President will meet with Trump for the two days before he will have the opportunity to pitch his solution of retaining the Iran nuclear deal to lawmakers before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
“Long live the United States, long live France,” French Pres. Macron says before shaking Pres. Trump’s hand at the White House.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 24, 2018
The German Chancellor will be hosted for a one-day visit later in the week and she too looks to try and convince Trump that the United States should remain in the Iran nuclear agreement.
See the below video for Macron’s arrival and speech: