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Macron reiterates to Trump his criticisms of NATO, although both agree on his doubts about Turkey

December 3, 2019

The president of the United States relaxes the tone after the crossing of reproaches

LONDON, Dec. 3 (Reuters / EP) –

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has insisted before his counterpart in the United States, Donald Trump, in his criticisms of the current operation of NATO, in the context of a meeting preceded by the mutual crossing of reproaches but that he has also left gestures of tuning, like the doubts that both leaders share in relation to Turkey.

Macron has acknowledged that his allusions to “brain death” to the Alliance, described as “insulting” by Trump just a few hours before the bilateral meeting, may not have pleased certain sectors, but has insisted that the block will not be “serious” if only limited to budgetary issues and does not address strategic issues.

“The common enemy today is the terrorist groups. I am sorry to say it, but we do not have the same definition of terrorism around the table,” Macron told the media, in an appearance where he invited the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan , to clarify certain ambiguities during the NATO leaders summit.

“I see Turkey fighting those who fought against us against the Islamic State and, sometimes, working with Islamic State partners,” added the Gallic president, referring to the military offensive launched in mid-October in northeastern Syria against the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG).

Macron has also questioned Turkey's purchase of an S-400 missile system from Russia, a contract that, Trump said, could lead to sanctions. “We are looking at it and talking about it,” said the tenant of the White House before the media.

Trump has added that Turkey “wanted” to buy the American Patriot system but the Administration of its predecessor, Barack Obama, did not leave him. “He only allowed it when (the Turks) were already ready to acquire another system,” the president of the United States has lamented.

MORE CONCILIATING TONE

Trump, in general terms, has used a more conciliatory tone before Macron than he had been demonstrating publicly before the match. Thus, he highlighted the good relationship between the two countries and has been confident that they can resolve the “minor disputes” in the field of trade.

However, it has suggested the possibility of tightening taxes for France, after the Administration responded to the gala rate on US technology companies with tariffs on products such as champagne and cheese, among others.

“We have taxed the wine and we have other taxes provided. We would rather not do it, but it is the only way,” said Trump, who expects a “substantial” tightening of rates. “I am not sure what will happen, but it could,” he added.

MACRON'S “NO ANSWER”

One of the most commented moments of the appearance has come when Trump has been questioned about a possible appeal to France to accept the repatriation of Gaul Islamic terrorists detained in the Middle East. The US president has given the answer to his counterpart, whom he asked if he would be willing to welcome “charming Islamic State fighters.”

Macron, then, has given a long response in which he has alleged that European militiamen represented a minority in the ranks of the terrorist organization and has urged to analyze the problem as a whole, without focusing solely on these cases. He has also called to defeat the Islamic State once and for all.

“That's why he's a great politician, because he's been one of the best non-answers I've ever heard and that's fine,” Trump concluded.