WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will go to Paris for Bastille Day, the White House confirmed Wednesday, accepting an invitation extended one day earlier by French President Emmanuel Macron.
"President Trump looks forward to reaffirming America's strong ties of friendship with France, to celebrating this important day with the French people, and to commemorating the 100th anniversary of America's entry into World War I," a White House-released statement read.
According to the statement, the leaders will continue to focus on counter-terror efforts and economic partnership during the visit, which comes on the heels of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The Trump-Macron relationship has been fraught since its inception, with Trump seeming to prefer Macron's rival Marine Le Pen in the French elections earlier this year. When the two men met in Brussels last month for the NATO Summit, their extended, white-knuckled handshake made headlines and reverberated across social media.
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"My handshake with him wasn't innocent," Macron told a French newspaper at the time, calling it a "moment of truth."
But the awkward handshake was a symptom rather than the cause of the strained personal relations between the two world leaders. Macron has been outspoken about Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, an international accord to combat global warming that nearly every nation on Earth is a part of and that former President Barack Obama entered into. In the aftermath of that decision — which the White House applauded as a campaign promise kept and the "America First" mantra at work — Macron launched "Make Our Planet Great Again" as he announced his own recommitment to the principles of the Paris Agreement.