(PARIS) — President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron set aside lingering differences on climate change during their meeting in France on Thursday, asserting that it shouldn't prevent them from working together toward a post-war roadmap for Syria and to enhance Mideast security.
Trump, standing alongside Macron at a news conference, said the two nations have "occasional disagreements" but that would not disrupt a friendship that dates back to the American Revolution. He remained non-committal about the United States eventually rejoining the global climate agreement that bears Paris' name, telling Macron, "if it happens that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't that will be OK too."
Macron, playing host to Trump ahead of the annual Bastille Day celebrations, acknowledged sharp differences on the Paris climate pact but said the two leaders could find other areas of cooperation. "Should that have an impact on the discussions we're having on all other topics? No, absolutely not," he said.
Trump arrived in the French capital on Thursday for a whirlwind, 36-hour visit to meet with Macron and tackle potential solutions to the crisis in Syria and discuss broader counterterrorism strategies. Trump planned Friday to participate in Bastille Day celebrations and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I before returning to Washington.
The president landed in Paris amid questions about emails showing that his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., welcomed the prospect of receiving Russian government support in last year's presidential campaign between his father and Hillary Clinton.
Trump defended his namesake, saying that "most people would have taken that meeting," a message that contradicted his incoming FBI director's testimony that Donald Trump Jr. should have instead alerted authorities.
Trump called his son a "wonderful young man" and continued to downplay the issue, saying that "nothing happened" as a result of the meeting.