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Trump accepts Macron's Bastille Day invitation
US President Donald Trump has accepted Emmanuel Macron's invitation to attend France's annual Bastille Day parade in Paris on 14 July. But he will not accompany the French president to Nice, where Macron will pay tribute to the 86 people killed and 434 injured by a jihadist truck attack, in the afternoon.
The French president's office announced on Wednesday evening that Trump had accepted the invitation that Macron made for a scond time during a phone call on Tuesday.
American troops will be taking part in the parade down the Champs Elysées to mark the 100th anniversary of the US joining France, Britain and their allies against Germany in World War I.
Two F22 Raptor fighter planes and six F16 Thunderbirds are expected to steal the show with air acrobatics.
"President Trump looks forward to reaffirming America's strong ties of friendship with France, to celebrating this important day with the French people, and to commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.
The two leaders are also likely to discuss Syria, following their commitment during the phone call to a joint response in the event of a further chemical attack by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, declared shortly after Trump's visit to Riyadh.
Socialist MP Luc Carvounas joined critics of the invitation on Thursday, commenting that it will "pay more dividends" to the Americans than to the French.
The visit will "allow Donald Trump to use the president of the republic's great international image", he commented, while regretting Macron's decision to scrap a 40-year tradition of goving a major television interview after the parade.
But Trump, who will be accompanied by his wife Melania, will not accompany Macron to Nice to pay homage to the victims of last year's terror attack, the French presidency said.