Donald Trump lauds Macrons as 'cherished' guests

Why This May Not Be the Best Time for Trump to End Iran Deal

A day after the warm back pats, air kisses and hand-holding at the White House, French President Emmanuel Macron used a joint address to Congress on Wednesday to pointedly challenge President Trump's "America first" foreign policy, making a pitch for the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord and the virtues of multilateralism, free trade and science.

The first person to address the House of Representatives was the Marquis de Lafayette, the French General and US Revolutionary War hero in December 1824.

"We're just citizens of the same planet", Macron said.

"We can choose isolationism, withdrawal or nationalism". This is an option.

"We wrote these rules", he said. "But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world". "If we open our eyes wider, we will become stronger".

Macron had come to Washington in part to plead for a more comprehensive "new agreement" that would address what he and Trump believe to be shortcomings of the existing accord. But their political centers of gravity remain distant, and their personal styles at times seem awkward.

European calls for exemptions from Trump's plan for 25 percent tariffs on steel imports are also on their agenda, as well as the USA president's desire to withdraw US forces from Syria as soon as practicable.

But there was no question that Macron also sought to distance himself from the president.

Tehran:A senior Iranian security official said that his country would consider withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the United States scraps the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran Times reported.

"I'm not saying we're moving from one deal to another, I'm saying its one aspect of the problem", Macron said.

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Macron was speaking to a receptive audience, said Celia Belin, a visiting fellow at the Brooking Institution's Center on the United States and Europe.

Macron has positioned himself as a negotiator between Europe and the United States, and appears to have established an influential relationship with President Trump.

Last December, Macron awarded eighteen American climate scientists "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants worth millions of euros to relocate to France for the rest of Trump's term.

"What is the meaning of our life if we [are] destroying the planet while sacrificing the future of our children?" the French president asked. Macron says his presidential campaign past year was a victim of fake news, notably accusing Russian news sites RT and Sputnik. "A commercial war.is not consistent with our mission, with our history, with our current commitments for the global security".

He believed that the two nations can build the right answers to Trump's concerns regarding trade imbalances, excesses and overcapacities by negotiating through the World Trade Organization and building cooperative solutions.

Trump must decide by May 12 whether to continue waiving USA sanctions on Tehran as required under the deal. "But we are going to follow the USA government's lead and we have ensured that.we are not dependent on those aircraft", he said.

He called Macron's speech "powerful".

The foursome took a helicopter ride Monday night to George Washington's riverside estate at Mount Vernon in Virginia, where they ate dinner on the terrace.

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 24, 2018.

Macron's visit also included efforts to convince Trump to exempt Europe from steel tariffs and convince the United States to maintain its military presence in Syria.

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