- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

President Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House with a lavish ceremony Monday for the administration’s first state visit.

At the South Portico, Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump met Mr. Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, and greeted them French-style with kisses on both cheeks.

“It is truly fitting that we are holding our first state visit with our country’s oldest ally,” said Mr. Trump.

He noted the nearly 250-year alliance with France that began with Marquis de Lafayette joining George Washington in 1777 to fight with the Continental Army.

Mr. Trump said the visit came at a “critical time for our alliance,” and he thanked the French people for joining the U.S. and U.K in recent missile strikes on Syria.

The president said he appreciated the “steadfastness and partnership” of the French people.

Turning to Mr. Macron, he said, “They were incredible.”

The ceremony included a traditional review of the troops on the South Lawn, where nearly 500 members of the U.S. armed forces were assembled.

A daylong series of meetings would follow, including dialogue between Mr. Trump and Mr. Macron on hot-button issues ranging from trade to military issues and the future of the Iran nuclear deal.

The social highlight will be a state dinner.

Guests at the ceremony included Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, military families and students from the Maya Angelou French Immersion School in Temple Hills, Maryland.

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