Trump jabs Macron as he arrives in France for Armistice visit

German Bundeswehr soldiers of the 122th Infantry Battalion take part in a farewell ceremony in Oberviechtach Germany Thursday Jan. 19 2017

German Bundeswehr soldiers of the 122th Infantry Battalion take part in a farewell ceremony in Oberviechtach Germany Thursday Jan. 19 2017

President Trump on Friday lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron - slamming him on Twitter for suggesting that Europe create its own military to protect it from Russia, China and the US.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the United States subsidises greatly".

Trump was referring to the recent interview Macron gave to Europe 1 radio, in which he outlined the idea of a combined European army that would be able to protect Europe from Russia, China... and the US.

"Faced with Russian Federation, which is near our borders and has shown it could be threatening - I want to build a real security dialogue with Russian Federation, which is a country I respect, a European country - but we must have a Europe that can defend itself on its own without relying only on the United States", he added.

Macron, an ardent advocate of closer European integration, said a joint European Union military force was needed to wean Europe off American might, not least after US President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

"In an environment where threats and upheavals of a geopolitical or climatic nature are multiplying, the initiative must send the message that Europe is ready, that Europe is capable", a French defence ministry official said, according to Reuters. "We must have a Europe that can defend itself more, without just relying on the U.S".

Fresh off US congressional elections that saw his Republican Party's power erode, Trump is spending the weekend in Paris to bolster the US-European alliance at World War One remembrance ceremonies. The sanctions stem from Trump's efforts to exit or renegotiate an worldwide deal struck during President Barack Obama's administration offering economic relief in exchange for a freeze of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

The rationale behind the idea of creating a European army, which has been floated repeatedly through the years but has yet to materialize, is to lessen Europe's dependence on the whims of the U.S. politicians, Macron indicated.

"During his visit to Paris, President Buhari will attend a luncheon hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France in honour of visiting heads of delegations".

"Great world leaders", he said, are "driven by national interests". "And we look forward to that", Mr Trump told reporters before leaving the White House. The pair are expected to meet during the G-20 meeting later this month in Argentina, and the White House has invited Putin to visit Washington.