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Emmanuel Macron: White-knuckle handshake with Trump 'was not innocent'

Macron is eager to show President Trump that he won’t bow down easily.

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron has described a white-knuckle handshake with US President Donald Trump last week as “not innocent”.

The two world leaders met while in Brussels for a NATO summit, and their handshake caught some people’s attention, as it seemed to be a battle for dominance.

In an exclusive interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, Macron confirmed those theories when he said the moment was more than just a handshake – but a ‘moment of truth’.

Trump US NATO Source: Evan Vucci/PA Images

“My handshake with him is not innocent, it is not the alpha and the omega of a policy but a moment of truth,” Macron told the paper yesterday morning ahead of the G7 summit.

Trump Body Language Source: Evan Vucci

“We must show that we will not make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but do not over-mediate either.”

Belgium NATO Summit Source: Peter Dejong/PA Images

Yesterday, the G7 summit ended without agreement after Trump refused to agree to climate change measures – causing a historic ‘six-to-one’ split.

He said he’d consider the proposals and make a decision next week, leaving other leaders dissatisfied, including Angela Merkel who said the talks were “difficult”.

Macron and Merkel

Today, Merkel went even further when she said that Europe “must take its fate into its own hands” faced with an alliance by Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency.

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Italy: G7 Summit 2017 Taormina Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days,” Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany.

We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.

While Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, “we have to fight for our own destiny,” Merkel went on.

Special emphasis was needed on warm relations between Berlin and newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron, she said.

Earlier in the week, this video of Macron walking towards Trump and swerving last minute to greet Merkel and other colleagues gained traction – and echoes Macron’s comments today of the importance of appearing strong towards the US administration.

Read: The 4 big challenges Emmanuel Macron will face as president

Read: ‘Nobody knows how he’s going to act’ – Trump embarks on first foreign trip

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