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Trump heads to France for Bastille Day celebrations with Macron

By Andrew V. Pestano
President Donald Trump on Wednesday will fly to Paris, France, to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Syrian civil war on Thursday and to join Bastille Day celebrations on Friday. File Photo by Peter Dejong/EPA
President Donald Trump on Wednesday will fly to Paris, France, to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Syrian civil war on Thursday and to join Bastille Day celebrations on Friday. File Photo by Peter Dejong/EPA

July 12 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday departs for Paris to join French President Emmanuel Macron for Bastille Day celebrations and to discuss counter-terrorism and the Syrian civil war.

A White House senior administration official said Trump would reach France Thursday morning after his Wednesday night departure from the United States.

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Trump will hold a meet-and-greet event with staff the U.S. Embassy in Paris after arriving. He will then have a working lunch with senior members of his delegation and senior U.S. military leaders, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford; U.S. European Command head Gen. Mike Scaparrotti; and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Following the meeting with his U.S. officials, Trump and first lady Melania Trump will meet with Macron and French first lady Brigitte Macron at the iconic Les Invalides complex for a tour of the French National War Museum, the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte and the tomb of Marshal Foch, who was the Supreme Allied Commander at the end of World War I.

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A bilateral meeting between Trump and Macron, along with senior advisors, follows the tour. The meeting will focus on Syria and counter-terrorism efforts, the White House official said. The leaders may also discuss the recent G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.

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On Friday, the Trumps will join the Macrons for the annual Bastille Day ceremonies on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

"This year marks the 100th anniversary of the entry of American troops onto French soil and into World War I. As they do every year, French troops from all of the French military services will participate," the White House official said. "This year will also feature participation by U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines from the Army's 1st Infantry Division -- of note because this was also the first U.S. unit to enter France and actually participated in the Bastille Day festivities in 1917 and was the first U.S. unit to go into combat."

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The U.S. president and first lady will return to the United States after the Bastille Day ceremonies.

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