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Macron thanks US at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron has thanked his US counterpart during Bastille celebrations. Donald Trump is on hand as the guest of honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US's entry into World War I.

On his first Bastille Day as president, Emmanuel Macron attended the French capital's military parade alongside his US counterpart, Donald Trump.

"The history of France does not start on the 14th of July, 1789, but on that day the people of France showed which ideals they wanted to follow," Macron told the nation in an address following the march. "We have also found allies and friends we could trust and who came to the rescue," he added. "Among those is the United States of America. This is why nothing will ever come between us."

This year's parade commemorated the centenary of the US's entry into World War I and featured military aircraft and soldiers from both countries to stress the continued Franco-American martial cooperation in the Middle East and elsewhere.

"This is a wonderful national celebration," Trump had said during a joint news conference with Macron ahead of the celebrations on Thursday. "We look very much forward to it," he added. "Spectacular."

Fearing attacks, police emptied the famed Champs-Elysees two hours before the parade began, along with the Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris, at the avenue's eastern end.

Also on hand was DW's Max Hofmann.

'Forever joined together'

Afterward, Macron planned to head to the southern city of Nice, where last year an extremist plowed a truck into a crowd gathered to celebrate the holiday on the Promenade de Anglais, killing 86 people and injuring hundreds more.

With that in mind, Macron's government deployed more than 130,000 civil servants and members of France's security services to protect this year's Bastille Day celebrations, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.

On Thursday, the presidents met while French first lady Brigitte Macron gave her US counterpart, Melania Trump, a tour of Paris and the foursome reconnected for dinner at the Eiffel Tower. "Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom," Trump said.

The presidents have found common cause in military philosophy, but differ wildly on climate change and trade.

mkg/ng (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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