Macron warns against isolationism in speech to US Congress

26 April 2018

Macron warns against isolationism in speech to US Congress

French President Emmanuel Macron urged the US to avoid a path of fear-inspired isolationism and nationalism in a speech to the country’s congress.

President Macron reflected on the historic ties between the US and France, and called for the two countries to “strengthen our cooperation”, saying, “We can build the 21st century world order based on a new breed of multilateralism. Based on a more effective, accountable and result-oriented multilateralism. A strong multilateralism.”

The President went on to say the US must be involved in the preservation and reinvention of Western multilateralism because the US created it.

“This strong multilateralism will not outshine our cultures and national identities,” he said. “It is exactly the other way around. A strong mulitlateralism will allow our cultures and identities to be respected, to be protected, and to flourish freely.”

In his address, Mr Macron confronted several major Trump Administration policy positions including Syria, the Iran nuclear deal, free trade and the Paris climate accords, but balanced his speech with messages of unity.

He re-stated France’s committment to sanctions on North Korea and, regarding Iran, said, “Our objective is clear: Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons.”

The President took a particularly strong line on climate change using a play on US President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”.

He said, “Let us work together in order to make our planet great again. And create new jobs and new opportunities, while safeguarding our Earth.”

Mr Macron was for the most part received favourably by the US Congress, and was given several standing ovations by members on both sides of politics.

The speech was given as part of the French President’s three-day visit to the US.