For the 39-year-old Macron, France’s youngest leader since Napoleon two centuries ago, the visit is a chance to use soft diplomacy to win Trump’s confidence and set about influencing U.S. foreign policy, which European leaders say lacks direction.
Macron views it as counter-productive to isolate the United States on the world stage, and said he and Trump had asked diplomats to draw up in the coming weeks a concrete initiative aimed at preparing the future of Syria.
“On the Iraq-Syria situation, we have agreed to continue working together, in particular on the building of a roadmap for the post-war period,” Macron said.
Trump said work was underway to negotiate a ceasefire in a second region of Syria.
On Friday, Trump will be guest of honor at France’s July 14 celebrations, a year after a Tunisian man loyal to Islamic State ploughed a truck through revelers on a seafront promenade in Nice, killing more than 80.