November 14, 2018 / 7:57 PM / a month ago

Macron says France is U.S. ally, not a vassal state

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump after a meeting at the Elysee Palace on the eve of the commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of the First World War, in Paris, France, November 10, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday two long-time allies like France and America should treat each other with respect and that France was a U.S. ally but not a vassal state, after U.S. President Donald Trump attacked him on Twitter.

In five posts sent on Tuesday after his visit to France, Trump blasted the key U.S. ally over its near defeat to Germany in two world wars, its wine industry and Macron’s approval ratings.

“At every moment of our history, we were allies, so between allies, respect is due,” Macron said, citing French support for America’s war of independence and U.S. support during the two world wars.

“I don’t think the French expect me to respond to tweets but to continue this important history,” he told TF1 in an interview on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

Trump was only playing to a domestic audience, he added.

“I think he’s playing politics, and I let him play politics.”

Asked about his suggestion to build an European army, which Trump criticized in tweets last week, Macron said:

“The United States are our historic ally and will continue to be. It’s the ally with which we take all the risks, with which we carry out the most complicated operations. But being an ally doesn’t mean being a vassal state,” Macron said.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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