Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Macron puts France poles apart from Trump's vision

Iranian nuclear agreement is essential to peace, Emmanuel Macron tells a sceptical US and Israel

Macron highlights difference between western leaders over Iran deal. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Macron highlights difference between western leaders over Iran deal. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, cast himself poles apart from Donald Trump’s word vision in a speech yesterday to the United Nations General Assembly.

Like Mr Trump the 39-year old French president was a debutant at the UN meeting but the demeanour he displayed was the antithesis of the America first president.

In particular Mr Macron “respectfully” disagreed with the US leader on climate change policy, the Iranian nuclear agreement and on confrontation with North Korea.


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The French leader agreed that North Korea’s nuclear development programme was both dangerous and unacceptable but he added diplomatic pressure, not threats like Mr Trump’s vow to “totally destroy” Pyongyang, was the best solution.

“France rejects escalation and will not close any door to dialogue,” he said.

In the face of Mr Trump’s dire language on the Iran deal, Mr Macron warned of a downward spiral of instability if countries pulled out of the 2015 pact. The joint agreement was solid, robust and verifiable, he said. “This is a good agreement, an agreement that’s essential to peace” he said.

The underlying theme of Mr Macron’s speech was that multilateralism must battle to succeed over those who forget history and seek their own interests. "We can only try and address those challenges through multilateralism, not through the law of the survival of the fittest" he said.

French diplomats were working on launching a new road map for a Syria peace deal. “As we have seen in recent days the Astana format can be useful but it is not enough,” he said.

The French leader will convene high profile meetings on key issues in New York, including his drive to preserve the Paris climate change accord should Mr Trump pull America out of the deal.

“The planet will not negotiate with us,” Mr Macron said. “I fully respect decision of the United States, but the door will always be open.

“However, we will continue with all governments, we will continue to implement the Paris agreement.”

The French president also plans a meeting on the spread of extremism and threat of radicalisation through social media and across the internet. He said he would remind the internet giants that they were in a shared battle against an ideology that seeks to wipe away the human face

Updated: September 20, 2017 02:28 AM