French President Emmanuel Macron will head to the United States in April for the first state visit announced by Donald Trump's White House, officials said Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM television that the visit would take place in April, with diplomatic sources telling AFP that Macron would leave around April 24.
The two leaders, who have met several times, have good relations despite fundamental disagreements on such issues as climate change.
Macron hosted Trump in Paris with great pomp in July for the Bastille Day national holiday -- when the US leader was impressed by the huge traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysees.
On Tuesday, the White House said Trump had asked for a similar large-scale military parade in an unconventional move that would showcase American muscle and underscore his role as commander-in-chief.
In Paris, Trump had marvelled at the French Republican Guard on horseback and jets flying overhead, with Macron arriving in an open-topped camouflaged military jeep.
Months after that meeting, Trump publicly remarked: ‘So we're actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength.’
Even before becoming president, aides reported that Trump had considered a military parade to mark his inauguration, but the idea was eventually scrapped.
Macron, who deplored Trump's announced intent to pull out of the 2015 Paris climate accord on curbing global warming emissions, has openly expressed hope that his ‘friend’ will change his mind.
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