France asks Trump not to interfere after climate tweet

France has requested that US President Donald Trump “not interfere” with national politics, after his repeated controversial statements on the Gilets Jaunes protests and the Paris Agreement on climate.

10 December 2018
By Connexion journalist

The US President has also been criticised for the notable absence of any comments on the climate change march, La Marche Pour Le Climat, which took place on Saturday across France, including at least 20,000 people in Paris.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, French minister for foreign affairs, said: “I will say to Donald Trump - and the President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron) also says - we do not take part in American debates, so let us live our own national life.

“We do not try to interfere in internal American politics, and we would like this consideration to be reciprocated.”

The comments come after Mr Trump - writing on Twitter - repeatedly criticised the Gilets Jaunes protests, and suggested that the Paris Agreement was at fault.

After Saturday December 1, which saw serious unrest in Paris, Mr Trump said it had been a “very sad day and night” for the city.

He then suggested that a possible solution would be “to end the ridiculous and extremely expensive Paris Agreement and return money back to the people in the form of lower taxes”.

Mr Trump has also previously tweeted: “The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France.”

The US President then claimed that French protesters had been “chanting ‘We Want Trump!’”, and finished his tweet with the words “Love France”.

But in response, Mr Le Drian said: “As far as I know, the Gilets Jaunes did not protest in English, and the videos that appeared in the United States in which you can hear ‘We want Trump’ were [actually] from London, and filmed during Mr Trump’s visit there a few months ago.”

Mr Trump’s comments come after he announced his intention to take the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate in June 2017.

Signed in 2015, the Paris Agreement unites 195 countries in aiming to significantly reduce greenhouse gases and harmful environmental emissions, and limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Currently, just three countries officially oppose it: the USA, Syria, and Nicaragua.

Despite his outspokenness on the Gilets Jaunes protest, President Trump has remained silent over La Marche Pour Le Climat climate change march that took place across France on Saturday December 8.

In what was nicknamed the “Green Vest (Gilets Verts)” march, over 20,000 people - representing over 60 climate change associations - showed up in Paris; with 7,000 counted in Lyon, and 3,000 in Nantes.

Other cities taking part included Lille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Marseille, and Bordeaux, and over 100 others.

In Nancy, march organisers clashed with police, with two organisers - including the president of climate group Amis de la Terre - being taken into custody. In Nantes, eight people were arrested (out of the 3,000-strong crowd).

In Paris, the march took place peacefully despite the Gilets Jaunes unrest, but was forced to alter its route slightly to avoid the Champs-Élysées area. It was eventually allowed to start from Place de la Nation at 14h.

Some banners carried by protesters appeared to reference the Gilets Jaunes protests taking place on the same day, reading: “Climate change emergency and social justice; same fight”.

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