France may make the first official state visit of the Trump Presidency
Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron's relationship looks set to get even closer, with reports indicating that the French president will be the first world leader to make a full state visit to Washington, DC.
According to the AFP news agency, Macron plans to visit the U.S. capital in late April, and will be the first foreign leader to be given the full pomp of a state occasion, which includes a meal in the White House's State Dining Room.
Similar reports, apparently originating from the White House, were made a few weeks ago.
Other leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping have visited before, but their trips were not given the full state-visit status.
French National Day Parade, July 14, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
Last summer, Trump visited Paris around Bastille Day, and was given a lavish welcome, devoid of major protests.
The two presidents and their wives emptied the Eiffel Tower for an evening and had a lobster dinner looking over Paris.
Trump was also a guest of honor at the Bastille Day military parade, which reportedly inspired him to pursue a similar display in Washington, DC involving U.S. armed forces.
The apparently warm relations between Trump and Macron is a contrast to the strained relationship between Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
May was the first world leader to visit Trump after his inauguration, but images of the two holding hands just before Trump embarked on his controversial travel ban were political kryptonite in Britain.
An invitation from Queen Elizabeth for Trump to make a state visit to Britain was accepted, but has been repeatedly delayed, while British activists have prepared large-scale street protests for when the final date is set.
Trump and Macron differ on policy significantly, including their stance on the European Union, the Iran deal, and U.S. participation in the Paris climate change agreement.
Their initial meeting appeared tense and was dominated by an awkward, combative, white-knuckle handshake. But since then the men seem to have got on fine, with the reported state visit seeming to be further evidence.