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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Donald Trump lauds Macrons as 'cherished' guests

Warm note released after phone call followed French president's state visit

<p>French President Emmanuel Macron with US President Donald Trump. Ludovic Marin / AFP Photo</p>
<p>French President Emmanuel Macron with US President Donald Trump. Ludovic Marin / AFP Photo</p>

US president Donald Trump has lauded Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte, in a statement that was unusually warm and personal at the end of the French leader's state visit on Thursday.

Following Mr Macron's address to the US Congress, the White House said Mr Trump had spoken to the young French leader by telephone.

"President Macron thanked the president and the First Lady for the wonderful state visit, the first of the Trump presidency. President Trump emphasised his deep affection for president and Mrs Macron and thanked them for being his and Mrs Trump's cherished guests," the statement said.

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Mr Macron dazzled his audience on Wednesday in an ovation-earning rare address for a foreign leader to Congress, where he pleaded for America to maintain its global outlook.

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.

"We can choose isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism... but that will only inflame the fears of our citizens... anger and fear don't build anything, it weakens us," Mr Macron said.

The one-hour address concluded with chants of "vive la France" and was attended by members of Congress, while his "good friend" Mr Trump watched from the White House.

Pictures: The Trumps and the Macrons

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