Sunday, 16 June, 2019

Macron Downplays Death of Oak 'Friendship Tree' He Planted With Trump

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Steven Clarke | 13 June, 2019, 08:48

In an interview broadcast Tuesday evening by Swiss television RTS, Macron said the death of the tree shouldn't be read as a indication of the up-and-down relationship between France and the United States.

French president Emmanuel Macron will send a replacement oak tree to US President Donald Trump after the original was dug up from the White House garden and died.

Earlier, it was reported that the oak tree that President Trump planted on the White House lawn in April 2018 has died.

This week, U.S. officials confirmed that the tree symbolising 100 years of French-American friendship had died.

"The symbol was to plant it together".

Macron said today that the tree's death is not symbolic of a strain in relations between France and the US.

"It turns out that this oak was put in quarantine for American sanitary reasons and the poor thing did not survive", Macron said.

Oil edges above $62 as OPEC cuts counter growth concerns
Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, fell $1.33, or 2.1%, to $60.96 a barrel by 1:09 p.m. Saudi Arabia is now hurrying to extend the ongoing production cuts, which are due to expire in June.

Then-French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud said that the tree was "enclosed in plastic protection" during the planting ceremony, as it had to be quarantined per U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations on foreign plants to prevent possible soil contamination.

The two men have found themselves at loggerheads on issues from how to deal with Iran, to trade and the importance of the European Union.

They last met in France to mark the 75th anniversary since the D-Day landings, when Macron gave a speech that made several digs at Trump's key policies.

'The United States of America is never greater than when it is fighting for the freedom of others.' he said.

Mr Macron also suffered a loss after his La Republique En Marche (REM) placed second behind far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The Euractiv journalist told Euronews he believes Angela Merkel could jump into the European Commission leadership race at the last moment with the support of Emmanuel Macron following the Frech President's claim he would back the German Chancellor if she wanted the top EU job.

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