President visiting Paris, a city he repeatedly derided

Macron to wine and dine Trump with blue lobster in Eiffel Tower restaurant

Trump explained that Jim "loves the City of Lights, he loves Paris". "France needs the United States, both in terms of strategic objectives, and as a trade and investment partner, and is hoping to influence and persuade Trump on trade and environmental issues", he says.

Global recriminations began piling up immediately after Trump's announcement, but few were as loud or defensive as those from Macron.

Just as Macron flattered Russian President Vladimir Putin with a meeting at the gilded Versailles palace of France's former monarchy, Trump will bask in a Bastille Day ceremony on Friday laden with pageantry and military pomp, with US soldiers parading down the Champs Elysees. Yannick Jadot, a French Green politician, recently called Trump's invitation to France "a symbolic reward unworthy of the USA president who has given the finger to humanity". He'll likely face questions about that at a news conference with Macron.

A senior USA official told reporters the White House expects the civil war in Syria and U.S. Macron later described it as "a moment of truth" between them.

In normal times, President Donald Trump's two-day sojourn to Paris would be a simple and uncomplicated mission.

"What our two countries share is stronger (than our differences), given our peoples and our histories and our values as well".

It is one reason, the diplomats say, that in his first two months as president, Macron has sought warmer ties with the Kremlin, just as Trump is left hamstrung in his relations with Moscow by allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election to help Trump win and possible collusion with Russia by people close to him. "That being said, it does not prevent us from cooperating in many fields", Macron said Saturday.

There is little downside for Macron. But Macron should realize-and, after last weekend, probably does-that Trump just isn't into him, or into anything else that Macron and most of the other heads of Europe represent. "And unlike [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel, he doesn't have the interest in re-election, he was just sworn-in, so it is precisely the way to distinguish himself", Marie-Cecile Naves, a researcher at the French Institute for worldwide and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), said.

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Macron supports intervention against Syria's government in response to its use of chemical weapons and could prove an important ally as the Trump administration seeks to increase pressure against Damascus.

The visit will gauge whether Trump and France's new leader can find consensus on any of the critical issues on which they find themselves deeply at odds.

Trump will move to the U.S. Embassy on his arrival to the country on Thursday for a meet-and-greet with embassy staff and also with U.S. participants, who will be in the Bastille Day festivities on Friday.

The secretary-general of the Socialist Party, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, told a French newspaper that Mr Macron was "looking for the company of the world's big leaders" because he needed to "legitimise his victory", having secured less than a quarter of the vote in the first round of France's presidential election.

But despite the differences, Rapnouil said both Macron and Trump have demonstrated during previous meetings - at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, G7, and G20 summits - to show that they share "a willingness to have a personal connection".

In Germany, Trump severely criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel during his election campaign, claiming she was "ruining" Germany by allowing in hundreds of thousands of refugees. -French military alliance - both then and now.

Still, there are many points of contention, including the decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. In hard-fought negotiations in Germany, Macron tried to soften USA language on climate policy. He has painted the city as a dystopian land of terror attacks with radicalized neighborhoods, a city "so, so, so out of control, so unsafe", as he declared in June 2016.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One returning from the G20 meeting in the German city of Hamburg, Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Trump and Macron enjoyed a "great" relationship.

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