Trump, Macron moving past climate pact conflict

  • President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron his wife Brigitte Macron, are photographed as they sit for dinner at the Jules Verne Restaurant on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • From left to right : Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump pose at the Jules Verne restaurant before a private dinner at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, Thursday, July 13, 2107. (Yves Herman/Pool Photo via AP) Yves Herman

  • French President Emmanuel Macron, left, welcomes a waving U.S President Donald Trump before their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. Trump will be the parade's guest of honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. U.S. troops will open the parade Friday as is traditional for the guest of honor. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Markus Schreiber

  • President Donald Trump pauses during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • French President Emmanuel Macron winks at President Donald Trump during a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron look to each other during a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron participate in a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

  • U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron after a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday. ap photo

  • French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes U.S President Donald Trump at Les Invalides museum in Paris Thursday, July 13, 2017. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planned to meet Thursday in Paris to focus on issue where they can take U.S.-French relations forward, security and defense issues chief among them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) Michel Euler

  • French President Emmanuel Macron, second left, his wife Brigitte, left, pose with U.S President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Les Invalides museum in Paris Thursday, July 13, 2017. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planned to meet Thursday in Paris to focus on issue where they can take U.S.-French relations forward, security and defense issues chief among them. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) Michel Euler

  • U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania arrive on Air Force One at Orly Airport in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. The president and first lady will attend the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris on Friday, July 14. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster

Associated Press
Published: 7/13/2017 9:02:44 PM

PARIS — President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron set aside lingering differences on climate change during their meeting in France on Thursday, asserting that it shouldn’t prevent them from working together toward a post-war roadmap for Syria and to enhance Mideast security.

Trump, standing alongside Macron at a news conference, said the two nations have “occasional disagreements” but that would not disrupt a friendship that dates back to the American Revolution. He remained non-committal about the United States eventually rejoining the global climate agreement that bears Paris’ name, telling Macron, “if it happens that will be wonderful, and if it doesn’t that will be OK too.”

Macron acknowledged differences on the Paris climate pact but said the two leaders could find other areas of cooperation. “Should that have an impact on the discussions we’re having on all other topics? No, absolutely not.”

Trump arrived in the French capital on Thursday for a whirlwind, 36-hour visit to meet with Macron and tackle potential solutions to the crisis in Syria and discuss broader counterterrorism strategies before being feted at Bastille Day celebrations Friday.

Topics like resolving the years-long civil war in Syria and countering terrorism gave Trump and Macron areas to cooperate. The two said they also discussed the security situations in Ukraine and Libya.

Trump praised a cease-fire in southern Syria that he helped broker last week with Russia and Jordan and said the U.S. was working on a second cease-fire in a “rough part of Syria.”

Macron said he discussed with Trump a road map for the country that would help stabilize the situation after the war ends. He has argued for intervention in Syria, saying that President Bashar Assad is a threat to the war-ravaged country and the Islamic State group is a threat to France.

France has been plagued in recent years by extremist attacks and Trump noted that during last year’s Bastille Day celebrations, a 19-ton cargo truck deliberately plowed into crowds in Nice, killing more than 80 people.

While the U.S. has split with the major world powers on the environment, the two leaders tried to patch over those differences.

Trump has said the climate deal was unfair to the U.S. but said the country was committed to protecting the environment despite his recent withdrawal decision.

Macron, a staunch advocate of research to combat global warming, has beckoned “all responsible citizens,” including American scientists and researchers, to bring their fight against climate change to France.

Trump, Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders huddled last week in Hamburg, Germany during a summit of the world’s leading rich and developing nations. Merkel and Macron met again Thursday in Paris, before Macron’s meeting with Trump. Trump and Merkel were not expected to meet.

Merkel said during a joint appearance with Macron that it was important they keep talking with Trump even where the differences between them are clear.

“We did not paper over these differences, but nevertheless contact, the ability to speak is of course important,” she said.


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