President Trump accepted French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation Wednesday to attend next month’s Bastille Day parade in the French capital, less than a month after the leaders’ first tense meeting in Brussels.
The parade, which commemorates the storming of the royal fortress during the French Revolution more than 200 years ago, will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I—an occasion the Élysée Palace said will include American troops marching alongside their French counterparts on the Champs-Élysées. The White House said in a statement that “President Trump looks forward to reaffirming America’s strong ties of friendship with France,” adding that the visit will provide both leaders an opportunity to discuss counterterrorism, economic partnership, and other issues.
This won’t be Trump and Macron’s first meeting. Their brief relationship has been tense, beginning last month with a now-infamous handshake at the NATO summit in Brussels (one which Macron later characterized as a “not innocent” exchange to demonstrate that he would not make concessions). Though both men rose to power on seemingly populist platforms—each capitalizing on the anti-establishment attitudes of their respective electorates—the two appear to hold worldviews that are diametrically opposed, with Macron embracing a globalist, pro-European Union platform, while Trump advocates a more protectionist, “America first” agenda.