Macron arrives in US on nuclear deal rescue mission

Macron arrives in US on nuclear deal rescue mission
The French leader is the first to be afforded a state visit since Donald Trump came to power in January 2017.
2 min read
23 April, 2018
France's leader Emmanuel Macron has attempted to forge a close relationship with Trump [Getty]
The Iran nuclear deal and tough talk on trade will be at the top of the agenda for French President Emmanuel Macron as he begins his three-day state visit to the US on Monday.

Macron is the first leader to be afforded a state visit since Donald Trump entered the White House in January 2017.

The major work between the pair will be done on Tuesday during White House meetings and a joint news conference.

On Wednesday, President Macron will address a Joint Session of Congress, marking the anniversary of the day French General Charles de Gaulle spoke to the gathering in 1960.

The leaders' relationship got off to a rocky start at last May's NATO summit in Brussels, when Macron appeared to ignore Trump's outstretched hand and greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel instead.

However, when the two did eventually shake hands, it became a 29-second viral hit. 

Trump was full of praise for Macron after his visit to France where he was treated to dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower and an impressive Bastille Day parade, which inspired Trump to order a military parade of his own.

In return, Macron has attempted to forge closer ties with the US leader where European counterparts have kept a distance.

He reportedly speaks with Trump frequently on the telephone and most recently claimed his efforts convinced the US president to strike chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

On this trip, he is on somewhat of a rescue mission to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has vowed to withdraw from unless EU allies make amendments by May 12.

Macron told US television on Sunday there is no "Plan B" if the US pulled out of the pact. Macron said that while he thinks the 2015 accord is imperfect, it remains the best course of action. "What do you have as a better option?" he told Fox News.

Agencies contributed to this report.