Macron to make state visit to US

US President Donald Trump at a joint news conference in Palm Beach Florida. Kevin Lamarque  Reuters

Macron will offer an oak sapling taken from the scene of a key World War One battle, where the Marine Corps repelled a German offensive in the final year of the conflict nearly exactly a century ago, the French presidency said on Sunday. He spoke to the media ahead of a three-day state visit to the USA starting on Monday.

However, he suggested that Trump stay in the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal, in which economic sanctions are lifted on Iran in exchange for leaders winding down their nuclear program, ahead of a May 12 sanctions deadline. When you are weak, he uses it.

Macron will arrive in Washington, D.C., on Monday for the first official state visit of President Trump's presidency.

He warned against leaving a vacuum in Syria once the war with Daesh is over, adding that it will most likely be filled by Iran and Bashar al-Assad. "We will have to build a new Syria after war".

"We will have to build the new Syria afterward, and that's why I think the USA hold is very important", he said.

Relations between the USA and France have been strained since Trump started reconsidering past agreements and pushing his "America First" protectionist policies.

It comes from near the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France, where 2,000 US Marines perished at the end of World War I.

Macron on Sunday said he would stress the importance of abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear accord with Iran, as long as there was no better alternative.

On a personal level, despite sharp differences in political background, age and lifestyle, the presidents seem to have struck up a bond as fellow outsiders who outwitted the establishment to gain power.

Analysts say Macron's aim is to improve bilateral relations.

Trump himself told Macron their "friendship" was "unbreakable" during his trip to Paris last July.

Speaking to reporters at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Spring meetings on Friday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire left no doubt that exemptions for France from any Trump tariffs would be a top priority during Macron's state visit to the United States this week. "It was to say now, we will work together".

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