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French President Macron slams American President Trump's import tariffs, says France do not want 'commercial war'

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 26 April 2018, 12:57 IST

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday criticised his American counterpart Donald Trump's decision to impose global tariffs on aluminium and steel imports, adding that "France did not want a commercial war."

Speaking at a joint session of Congress at Capitol Hill here, Macron said, "A commercial war is not consistent with our mission, with our history, with our current commitments for global security. At the end of the day, it will destroy jobs, increase prices and the middle class will have to pay for it."

Commenting on Trump's decision to exit the Paris agreement last year, the French President underscored that he had coaxed Trump to return to the agreement, adding that climate change was a global issue, The Hill reported.

"I'm sure, one day, the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement. And I'm sure we can work together to fulfill with you the ambitions of the global compact on the environment. I believe in building a better future for our children, which requires offering them a planet that is still habitable in 25 years," Macron said.

"With unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, plunging biodiversity and increasing ocean pollution, "we are killing our planet. Let us face it: There is no Planet B," he added.

The French President also called on the US to make efforts to curb "fake news", which he said was a "problem" in the country, according to the report.

"Without reason, without truce, there's no real democracy. Because democracy is about true choices and rational decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies," Macron further said.

Highlighting the "special relationship" of Paris and Washington D.C., Macron stressed, "This is a time of determination and courage. What we cherish is at stake. What we love is in danger. We have no choice but to prevail, and together we shall prevail. Long live the friendship between France and the United States."

Warning US lawmakers on "closing the country off to the politics of fear and anger", Macron added that instilling fears will only divide the people, the report stated.

"Both in the United States and in Europe, we are living in a time of fear. You can play with fear and anger for a time, but they do not construct anything. Anger only freezes and weakens us. Closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse, but inflame, the fears of our citizens," he said.

Defending the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Macron further said that Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons, adding that the existing framework worked to control Tehran's nuclear activity.

The West's policy should never lead us to war in the Middle East. We must ensure stability and respect sovereignty of the nations, including that one of Iran. Let us not replicate past mistakes in the region. Let us not be naive on one side. Let us not create new walls ourselves on the other side," he underlined.

At a joint press conference, Trump on Tuesday called the deal "insane," saying that "it should have never ever been made."

On the other hand, Macron, who wrapped up his three-day visit to the country said France was keen to develop a new nuclear deal with Iran until 2025, adding that he wanted limitations on the nuclear programme, in a bid to stamp out Tehran's "regional influence" in the Middle East.

The Iran nuclear deal was signed between six countries - Iran, US, Britain, Germany, Russia, France and China for lifting economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limitations to the country's nuclear programme.

The French President also pressed for an international consensus for achieving peace in war-torn Syria and said, "Together, in the long run, we can find a solution to the Syrian situation."


First published: 26 April 2018, 12:57 IST