Trump opens armistice visit to France with jab at Macron

German Bundeswehr soldiers of the 122th Infantry Battalion take part in a farewell ceremony in Oberviechtach Germany Thursday Jan. 19 2017

On Twitter, Mr Trump said it was "very insulting" that his host had called for a joint European Union army to handle threats from the US, China and Russian Federation. The Macrons had previously hosted the Trumps for a visit during Bastille Day. But he also made clear that the USA was not disengaging, declaring "we want to help".

Trump slammed Macron in a tweet, moments after he landed in Paris for a weekend trip to commemorate Armistice Day and attend the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which is being attended by several world leaders, including India's Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on November 7, 2018.

France on Saturday attempted to defuse a row sparked by President Emmanuel Macron's comments about a European army which angered US President Donald Trump, suggesting his remarks had been misinterpreted.

US President Donald Trump Saturday said the suggestion of his French counterpart Emanuel Macron that Europe should build its own army was "very insulting", asserting that Europe should first pay its "fair share" to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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On Tuesday, Macron took to French radio to express the need for Europe to reduce its reliance on an increasingly isolationist US for defence.

Trump originally wanted to celebrate Veterans Day on Sunday with a grand military parade in Washington, as he was inspired by the tanks and flyovers he saw during France's Bastille Day celebration when he visited Paris in July of a year ago.

As a prelude to Sunday's ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, which will be attended by dozens of world leaders, Trump and Macron are to meet on Saturday at Elysee Palace to discuss European and Mideast security.

The rationale behind the idea of creating a European army, which has been floated repeatedly through the years but has yet to materialize, is to lessen Europe's dependence on the whims of the United States politicians, Macron indicated.

"I am in Paris getting ready to celebrate the end of World War One".

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Trump and Macron are slated to hold talks on issues including Yemen, Syria and Iran, before their wives Melania and Brigitte join them for lunch. "Very insulting", Trump said in a tweet.

An official in Macron's office said Saturday that Macron didn't say that.

Trump and Macron struck up a warm relationship initially, particularly during the USA leader's first visit to Paris, but have repeatedly clashed since over a growing list of issues, including Trump pulling America out of the 2015 Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron tour the Thiepval Memorial in France.

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