Macron Seduces Trump
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived with a three-day state visit to the United States. This is the first visit of a foreign leader in such a format after the entry of Donald Trump into the office of president. In addition to the extensive ceremonial part relying on such cases - the visit is timed to the 250th anniversary of relations between the two countries - negotiations between the leaders of the United States and France will be held. Macron will address members of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the US Congress, meet with students from the George Washington University.
The main themes that the French president has already started discussing over the ocean are the announced protectionist tariffs of Washington that can cause a trade war between the EU and the US, a nuclear deal with Iran, Syria, the DPRK and, of course, Russia.
The most important topics
The most important issues on the agenda of the negotiators are the protection tariffs for steel and aluminum, which Trump delayed for the EU until May 1, and the nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump must confirm before May 12, or unilaterally withdraw the US from it. On these issues, Macron as an emissary of the whole of the European Union, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will bargain with Trump.
In an interview with Fox News on the eve of the visit, Macron stressed that Europeans and Americans do not have a plan B that could replace the agreement on Tehran's nuclear program: "Is this agreement perfect? No. But do we have a better alternative?" I do not see it ".
To exert pressure on Trump and the United States, over 500 parliamentarians from Britain, France and Germany published in the leading newspapers of these countries a joint appeal to US lawmakers calling not to sever a nuclear deal with Iran, which "remains committed to its obligations under the agreement," and a warning of "fatal consequences" of its failure.
Macron defends economic interests
To avoid a trade war, France can provide many services to the US in Syria, which in Paris seems to continue to be considered its "mandated territory," especially on the basis of a very deep mutual dislike of the American and French establishment towards Syrian President Bashar Assad. Makron already suggested Trump to build a "new Syria" after the end of the current conflict.
In the same interview for Fox News, Macron did not hide that he was considering his visit as missionary. And that he even expects to turn Trump into his faith, induce the US president to temper national egoism and make a big bet on the allied aspect:
If you are at war with everyone, you are waging a war against China, a trade war against Europe, a war in Syria, a war against Iran, let's be honest: it does not work. You need allies. "
A very important factor in the overseas negotiations is that France is talking with the US not only on its own behalf, but also on behalf of the EU.
It should be acknowledged that Macron has more chances than any other representative of the EU to attract Trump to his side. Despite the great age difference, different political attitudes, education, lifestyle, manners and interests, they are very similar. First of all, probably, because they are not traditional representatives of the establishment of their countries. Presidents of both countries have close and even kindly sincere relations: they regularly and confidently talk on the phone, do not stick their noses into each other's affairs. With Macron, France actually managed to become no less a close country for the United States than Britain. In the eyes of Trump, who does not like Germany, which he suspects of setting up the "fourth" economic Reich in the EU's place, and Merkel for her migration policy, Macron is the most preferable partner. Even more preferable than British Prime Minister Theresa May, who periodically criticizes Trump and still can not organize his state visit to Britain. Both presidents believe that relations between their countries should be based on pragmatism, and not on ideological principles. In other words, Macron's close relationship with Trump, even if they do not bring a direct result in solving a number of problems, still increase the international weight and influence of France.
In addition, the US-French talks will benefit both presidents, since their ratings at home are very low: over half of Americans and French, according to polls, do not approve of the activities of their leaders, who are in power approximately for the same period of time.
The Moment of Truth for Iran
In Tehran, Macron's visit to the United States is especially closely watched. Iranians have long been outraged by the Americans' emasculation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, their threats to withdraw from it.
If the United States officially withdraws from the deal, the immediate consequence of this will be that this step will free Iran from any obligations to comply with the agreements. Most likely, this will mean "the immediate exit" of Iran from the nuclear deal and the resumption of nuclear weapons.
Since Europeans and Russia are interested in preserving this deal, and they are not attracted by the prospect of Iran's emergence with an arsenal of nuclear weapons, there is room for a serious conflict between the US and the rest of the world. Let's see if Macron and Merkel will convince Trump to show restraint in this matter, even if he really wants to please his Israeli friends. The results of Macron's visit to Washington in many respects will show this.