Dhaka: 6:45 AM, Fri, 22 Feb, 2019

Macron attacks nationalism in US speech

Nasim : risingbd.com
Publish on: 2018-04-26 8:38:22 AM     ||     Updated: 2018-04-26 8:42:27 PM

International Desk: French President Emmanuel Macron has used his speech to the joint houses of the US Congress to denounce nationalism and isolationism.

Mr Macron said such policies were a threat to global prosperity.

The speech was widely interpreted as a thinly veiled attack on President Donald Trump's America First agenda.

Mr Macron also raised differences on global trade, Iran and the environment, seemingly in contrast to the warm bonhomie of his visit so far.

The French president was given a three-minute standing ovation as he took his place in the chamber for his speech.

He has developed a strong relationship with President Trump, and is in Washington as the first foreign leader to be afforded a US state visit by the Trump White House.

But the French president's comments showed that the pair do not agree on all subjects.

Mr Macron said isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism "can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears. But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse but inflame the fears of our citizens".

Macron has provided a masterclass to other world leaders on how to handle Donald Trump - you cuddle up close, you flatter where necessary - but you use that to allow you to pack a big punch.

He also spoke about the very special relationship between France and the US, a move that might have had some in Downing Street choking on their tea.

In a cleverly crafted speech, he started with the entente between himself and the US president that some said was just too cordial. But then came the punches - and they were hard-hitting jabs, taking direct aim at Donald Trump's policy agenda. On free trade, on the importance of science, on inequality - and Mr Trump's America First policies.

Then he audaciously borrowed Donald Trump's Make America Great Again slogan to talk about the environment, and the importance of the climate change agreement the US has pulled out of. He said it was time to make the Earth great again.

The speech was punctuated by applause and cheering. This was an important moment in the US Congress. Emmanuel Macron has emerged as a world leader who offers a competing and sharply different world vision to the US president - while all the time maintaining a bonhomie with him. That's quite a political feat.


risingbd/Dhaka/Apr 26, 2018/Nasim