Macron springs disrespectful surprise on Trump, US leaders speak up

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

French President Emmanuel Macron sparked heavy criticism after he unexpectedly invited Iran’s foreign minister to join other world leaders at the G7 Summit in France over the weekend.

Critics called out Macron’s surprise invitation to the controversial leader as “manipulative” and “disrespectful” to President Donald Trump and others attending the Group of Seven forum in the seaside town of Biarritz.

(File photo: screenshot)

Former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley criticized Macron in a tweet on Sunday as French officials informed reporters that Trump was only told of the impending arrival of Mohammad Javad Zarif when he had lunch with Macron on Saturday, according to CNS News.

“Iran supports terrorism at every turn and continues to pursue ‘Death to America,’” Haley tweeted. “Manipulative of Macron to do this and very insincere. #NotWhatFriendsDo.”

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham also tweeted his disappointment with Macron’s move.

Macron has been trying to soften relations amid escalating tensions between Iran and the U.S. after Trump unilaterally pulled out of the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

(File photo: screenshot)

Trump pushed back on the French president’s efforts earlier this month.

Trump insisted that he was not caught off guard by Macron’s invitation to Zarif over the weekend.

“I knew he was coming in and I respected the fact that he was coming in. And we’re looking to make Iran rich again, let them be rich, let them do well, if they want,” Trump said. “Or they can be poor as can be. And I tell you what, I don’t think it’s acceptable the way they are being forced to live in Iran.”

The president clarified that the U.S. is not interested in a regime change in Tehran. He also tweeted that “we are all laughing” at the “major case study of Fake News” by the media in reporting the conversations and events that took place at the meeting, though he was not more specific.

Zarif arrived on Sunday and met with the French leader, posting photos on Twitter touting his visit.

“Iran’s active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues,” he tweeted. “Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying.”

The foreign minister also took a shot at “US efforts to destroy diplomacy.”

Macron appeared to create some more confusion on Sunday when he noted that their was a “G7 mandate for Iran.”

“We agreed on what we wanted to say jointly on Iran,” he said, according to France 24.

But Trump appeared to contradict the French leader’s comments.

“No I haven’t discussed that,” he told reporters. “We’ll do our own outreach. But you can’t stop people from talking. If they want to talk, they can talk.”


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