France's Macron will send new oak to Trump after tree died

Elias Hubbard
June 12, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron says he will send United States leader Donald Trump a new "friendship tree" after the original died.

The two leaders commemorated their countries' relationship by planting the sapling in the grounds of the White House but USA officials this week confirmed that it had died.

US officials this weekend said it had died prompting a flurry of social media posts comparing its death to the hard relationship the two leaders have had since that visit.

"We will send him another, it is not a tragedy", Macron told Switzerland's RTS network on the sidelines of an International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva.

Responding to social media posts, Mr Macron said people should not read symbols into everything. It turns out that this oak was put in quarantine for American sanitary reasons and the poor thing did not survive.

"We need to have a strategic debate, so this week I will have another, long and intense conversation with Vladimir Putin, as the president of France and the G7", Macron stressed. "There is disagreement among us, but we work together".

During the planting ceremony, Mr Macron described the tree as a reminder of the "ties that bind us".

The European Sessile Oak was a gift from the Macrons and comes from Belleau Woods, where more than 9000 American marines died during battle in June 1918 during the First World War.

It was put in quarantine because of fears parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.

Meanwhile, disagreements with the Trump administration have recently led to some tensions with France's traditional ally across the Atlantic, in particular over military spending, trade imbalances, and Trump's penchant for scrapping worldwide agreements.

Driven by security concerns, Macron has floated the idea of a "real European army", which would have greater autonomy from the United States.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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