Despite an incredibly awkward handshake that was seen around the world, recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Donald Trump to visit his country in mid July. According to France 24, Macron’s administration extended its invitation to Trump to commemorate Bastille Day during a traditional military parade on July 14th, which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. Per statements provided to outlets by the American and French governments, Trump has accepted Macron’s invitation.
“To mark the occasion, American soldiers will take part in the parade alongside their French brothers in arms,” read the statement released by the Elysée presidential palace. In a followup statement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “President Trump looks forward to reaffirming America’s strong ties of friendship with France” while commemorating the occasion. What’s more, he added, “[t]he two leaders will further build on the strong counter-terrorism cooperation and economic partnership between the two countries, and they will discuss many other issues of mutual concern.”
The announcement arrives less than a month after Macron broke out ahead of world leaders critical of Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement with two offers of refuge to American scientists. France also issued several corrections to a White House video defending Trump’s decision, in which the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs maintained that “many major U.S. companies from all sectors, such as Exxon Mobile, Schneider Electric or Microsoft, disagree” with the move.