Macron Moves to Ease Tensions With Trump on European Defense


In the first move of its kind, Facebook will allow a small number of French regulators to "embed" inside the company and examine how the social media giant combats hate speech online, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.

Yuri Ushakov, Putin's foreign affairs adviser, said on Russian state television that a preliminary agreement on a Trump-Putin meeting had been reached but was dropped after taking into account what he called French considerations.

Trump introduced six American veterans of the Second World War and an US eighth-grader who saved money for two years so he could attend the ceremony to honor the heroes of WWI.

"We certainly have criticism of the one-sided and hostile approach of the European Union to Israel", said the prime minister, singling out European funding for human rights groups that document alleged abuses by Israeli soldiers.

It could travel to Facebook's European headquarters in Dublin and global base in Menlo Park, California if necessary, the company said.

According to a French official who briefed reporters, the two presidents emerged from their hour-long meeting aligned on security matters after Macron explained his proposals.

Trump has made similar arguments, particularly in urging NATO's European members to increase its share of defence spending.

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"Israel is Europe's shield in the Middle East [from terrorism], and without us it would spread and and many more people would push into Europe", said Netanyahu at a press conference on the sidelines of the commemorations in Paris.

"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States", he said, calling Europe "the principal victim" of Trump's decision to abandon the missile treaty with Russia.

But Macron told CNN: "To be very direct with you, what I don't want to see is European countries increasing the budget in defence in order to buy American and other arms or materials coming from your industry".

Trump arrived without his wife, Melania, who is visiting Versailles Sunday with Macron's wife, Brigitte Macron.

Macron's comments on stronger European defense cooperation were not meant to add to the points of contention, and his stance is not new. "We must have a Europe that can defend itself more, without just relying on the U.S".

Trump took offense when his French counterpart proposed that Europe create its own continental military force, considering it "very insulting" in a tweet on Friday.

President Donald Trump and dozens of world leaders gathered Sunday in Paris to mark the 100 years since the moment World War I ended. The president had been expected to meet with Putin during the visit, but will instead sit down with him formally later this month at a world leaders' summit in Buenos Aires. Afterwards, he planned to visit and deliver Veterans Day remarks at the Suresnes US cemetery and memorial outside Paris, where more than 1,500 Americans who died during the conflict are buried.