French President Emmanuel Macron invited President Donald Trump to a Bastille Day celebration next month to celebrate the arrival 100 years ago of the American troops who fought alongside the French during World War I.
An official of the presidential Elysee Palace said the invitation to Trump and first lady Melania Trump was extended Tuesday during a telephone conversation to prepare for the two leaders’ meeting during the G-20 summit in Germany on July 7-8.
France celebrates Bastille Day with a military parade down the Champs-Elysees every July 14. P
The official says the White House is examining the feasibility of a Paris visit.
The official requested anonymity in keeping with presidential practice.
The two leaders also discussed the need for a ‘joint response’ in case of a chemical attack in Syria.
Their call came a day after Washington said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing another chemical weapons attack and warned that his regime would pay a ‘heavy price’ if it went ahead with such an assault.
A Pentagon spokesman said US intelligence had noticed suspect activity at the launch site of the regime’s apparent chemical strike in April.
Days after that strike on a rebel-held town, the United States launched a cruise missile strike on the airfield in retaliation – the first direct US attack on the Syrian regime.
The French foreign ministry refused to say Tuesday whether it too had information about possible preparations by the Syrian regime for a chemical attack.
The leaders’ call comes after President Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement on climate change earlier this month.
Macron called the move a ‘mistake’ and even borrowed from Trump’s campaign slogan, saying, ‘Make our planet great again,’ at the conclusion of videotaped remarks on the topic.
During Tuesday’s White House press briefing, a reporter asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry if he thought the Bastille Day invitation signaled a thaw in relations between the two countries on climate change.
‘Do you see this as a way that the French are taking up his suggestion for negotiating a new climate change agreement?’ the reporter asked.
‘I would always look at an invitation to a party as a good thing,’ the former Texas governor said.
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