US President Donald Trump welcomed his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to his first meeting at the US Embassy in Brussels on Thursday and praised his “tremendous victory.” Melania Trump was also on the steps of the embassy to receive the new French president, whose wife, Brigitte, did not attend the working lunch on the sidelines of a NATO summit.
After the traditional handshake, Donald Trump congratulated his guest, who is over 30 years younger.
“It is a great honour for me to be with the new president of France, who led an incredible campaign and won a tremendous victory”, the Republican president said.
“Everyone is talking about it all over the world, well done”, he said, stressing that there would be many topics for discussion and that the fight against terrorism would be high on the agenda.
“I am very happy to be with President Trump”, said Emmanuel Macron, referring to the wide range of topics on the agenda: the fight against terrorism and “climate and energy issues”.
If he had not explicitly taken a stand in the French election campaign, some of Donald Trump’s remarks would have fed the idea of a possible victory of far right-wing candidate, Marine Le Pen.
A few days before the election, he had predicted that the attack on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, that was claimed by the Jihadist Islamic State (IS), would have far-reaching repercussions and would “probably help” Mrs Le Pen because “she is the strongest on the borders”.