World

Trump: Something could happen with Paris climate agreement

PARIS : US President Donald Trump held the door open to a reversal of his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord on Thursday, but he did not say what he would need in return to persuade him to do so.

Mr Trump, who has made few friends in Europe with his rejection of the 2015 Paris Agreement and his America First trade stance, met with French President Emmanuel Macron as they both sought common ground to reset an awkward relationship.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord, let's see what happens," Mr Trump told a joint news conference. "If it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't, that will be okay too."

He has said the Paris climate accord is soft on leading polluters such as China and India, putting US industry at risk.

Mr Macron said at the conference: "There is no sudden and unexpected change today, otherwise we would have announced it, but there is the shared intention to continue discussing these issues."

Their relationship got off to a bumpy start, but both have an incentive to improve relations - Mr Macron hopes to elevate France's role in global affairs, and Mr Trump needs a friend overseas.

Mr Trump went to France beset by allegations of Russian interference in the US presidential election last year, with e-mails released on Tuesday suggesting his oldest son welcomed an offer of Russian help against his father's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday, Mr Trump, 71, basked in the trappings of the Bastille Day military parade and commemoration of the entry of US troops into World War I 100 years ago.

For Mr Macron, 39, the visit is a chance to use soft diplomacy to win Mr Trump's confidence and set about influencing US foreign policy, which European leaders said lacks direction.

Mr Macron views it as counterproductive to isolate the US on the world stage and said he and Mr Trump had asked diplomats to draw up in the coming weeks a concrete initiative aimed at preparing the future of Syria.

"On the Iraq-Syria situation, we have agreed to continue working together, in particular on the building of a roadmap for the post-war period," Mr Macron said.

Mr Trump said work was underway to negotiate a ceasefire in a second region of Syria.

During his election campaign, Mr Trump had said a wave of militant attacks showed "France is no longer France" and reprimanded the then-Socialist government for allegedly bowing its head to terrorists.

An Elabe poll showed that 59 per cent of French people approved of Mr Macron's decision to invite Mr Trump. - REUTERS

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