Monday, 15 October, 2018

Emmanuel Macron rejects nationalism in speech to US Congress

Brigitte Macron was a pink pop of colour on the dreary tarmac of a US military base on April 23 Brigitte Macron was a pink pop of colour on the dreary tarmac of a US military base on April 23
Glenn Montgomery | 27 April, 2018, 00:59

Despite the budding friendship between the French leader and Mr Trump, including hand-holding and cheek-kissing, Mr Macron's speech delivered a rebuke to the isolationist and nationalist agenda that Mr Trump ran on during his election campaign.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani yesterday questioned the legitimacy of demands for a fresh nuclear agreement with Tehran. "It may happen, like in all families", Macron said.

"Our objective is clear". "Not now, not in five years, not in 10 years, never".

"This requires - more than ever - the United States' involvement as your role was decisive for creating and guarding today's free world". It's the first time a president from France has addressed Congress in more than a decade, but follows a tradition of foreign leaders appearing at the U.S. Capitol. Macron says his presidential campaign previous year was a victim of fake news, notably accusing Russian news sites RT and Sputnik.

In reference to Trump having pulled the USA from the Paris climate change agreement as well, Macron said changes in the U.S. stance on several world issues might work in the short term but were "very insane in the medium to long term", the Guardian reported.

President Trump has criticized the 2015 agreement made under the Obama administration for failing to address Iran's ballistic missile program and their "malign" activities in the Middle East. Trump must decide by May 12 whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran, which could lead to the deal's failure.

In their different ways, Europe, Iran and Russian Federation are all seeking to convince US President Donald Trump not to abandon the landmark 2015 deal that curbed Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Macron later said he had "no insider" information on Trump's decision regarding the future of the nuclear agreement, which continues to be endorsed by the United Nations and supported by all the other parties to it. Trying to get even more concessions from Iran "might be a fool's errand", Rohac added.

But as he wraps up a three-day visit to Washington, Macron also hinted at his profound disagreement with Trump's decision to pull the USA from the worldwide accord to limit the increase in average global temperature to less than 2°C during this century.

The US and its President Trump, he said, will have to see its responsibilities regarding the issue.

"I'm sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement", Macron said.

"Let us not replicate past mistakes", he said.

Macron was loudly cheered by Democrats while some passages drew only sparse applause from the Republicans.

Oil prices were little changed in the wake of Macron's remarks. "But I don't think it changed anybody's mind about anything, and it's certainly not going to change policy". "But I wanted us to agree upon a positive agenda. the Iran nuclear deal will be complied with and defended by France and the European Union".

Despite his affection for Macron, he has not yet said he will do so. He emphasized strengthening cooperation and using "results-based" multilateralism to address current global threats.

"There is one deal existing, it's working, it needs to be preserved", said European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini. "You are the one now who has to help to preserve and reinvent it".

He said if his demands are not met within 120 days, the USA would withdraw from the deal. "That is why we can not say we should get rid of it like that", he said.

Macron, who never mentioned Trump by name in the speech, was referencing the broader wave in European politics toward nationalism and trying to make the case for more responsible leadership by Western democracies, Rohac said.

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