Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday evoked the spirit of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy to defend global approach and multilateralism, telling visiting US President Donald Trump that “we must keep alive the alliance of free people”.
Speaking at a cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, northern France, where more than 9,000 American soldiers were buried, Macron saluted the sacrifice of American officers who had helped “liberating a land they had never crossed”, Efe news reported.
Earlier in the day, Macron and Trump led a ceremony to pay tribute to veterans of the D-Day landings on the 75th anniversary of the invasion that saw allied forces invade northern France and start an operation to liberate the nation from Nazi German forces during World War II.
“The United States of America is never greater than when it is fighting for the freedom of others,” Macron said, while calling on his US counterpart “to constantly renew this pact uniting the US and France to freedom”.
Defending his “America First” approach, Trump, since he assumed office in 2017, has been at odds with Europe, accusing the old continent of failing to pay enough for NATO and of causing a large trade deficit on the US side through unfair trade practices.
The traditional cross-Atlantic alliance has also been shaken by differences over the Iran nuke deal, the Paris Climate Agreement and the status of Jerusalem.
But it seems that all the differences have been put aside for a while over the special event, as Trump said that the connection within the alliance is indestructible.
“To all our friends and partners, our beloved alliance was forged in battle. It went through hardships. It survived the war and our connection is indestructible,” said Trump.
After a memorial ceremony, Macron and Trump will hold 30-minute talks to discuss the world’s major crises before sharing a working lunch.