Donald Trump slaps down Emmanuel Macron over claims he changed US policy in Syria | World | News


The French leader said he “convinced” the Republican firebrand to “stay there long term” when questioned about foreign policy in Syria.

However, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the claims by Mr Macron by saying US policy has not changed.

She explained: “We’ve talked about this for a while, but our policy hasn’t changed.”

Mrs Sanders added that Mr Trump still remains defiant on bringing US troops home from the region.

She continued: “We still have troops on the ground.

“But the President wants to bring those people home, and that hasn’t shifted.”

Mr Macron had seemingly made the comments off the cuff during a television interview.

The French leader made no effort to dissect exactly what convincing the US to stay in Syria for the “long-term” meant.

At a news conference yesterday Mr Macron appeared to backtrack on the comments he made over the weekend in an embarrassing climb-down.

He said: “I did not say that either the US or France will remain militarily engaged in the long term in Syria.”

Instead Mr Macron insisted the main “objective” in Syria revolved around “the war against ISIS”.

He remarked: “We have a military objective in Syria and one only: the war against ISIS.”

The leader added that for both France and US “political responsibility is not confined to the fight against ISIS” following a joint operation to thwart the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The French leader is set to visit Washington D.C. in less than a week – he hinted that discussions on the situation in Syria could take place with Mr Trump.

He explained: “I hope that we will continue with the United States to work toward an inclusive political solution in Syria, not a military one, which alone will preserve Syrian sovereignty, lasting peace in Syria, the absence of any form of terrorism and the lack of domination — especially Iranian — in Syria.”

During his time in power, Mr Macron was made a concerted effort to create a good relationship with the US.

Mr Trump has visited France during his presidency – he dined with Mr Macron at the Eiffel Tower in Paris as well as partaking in Bastille Day celebrations.

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