French President Emmanuel Macron will urge the U.S. to increase military operations in Syria when he addresses Congress this week, he said Sunday.
“I will advocate for militarism in front of the Congress,” Macron said in an interview with Chris Wallace for “Fox News Sunday,” adding he has a “special relationship” with President Donald Trump.
France joined with the U.S. and Great Britain in the April 13 airstrikes against suspected chemical weapons facilities the U.S. believes Syrian President Bashar Assad used to perpetrate attacks on his own people.
America is “one of the last resorts” when things go wrong in the world, Macron said and added France will depend on the U.S. whenever the conflict in Syria ends. “We will have to build a new Syria afterwards,” Macron said.
After the joint airstrikes on Syria, Macron convinced Trump the U.S. needed to remain in Syria, he continued. “Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria,” Macron said in an interview with a French television station April 15, according to Agence France-Presse.
“We convinced him it was necessary to stay. I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long-term,” Macron said.
Prior to the April strikes, which U.S. officials say destroyed the heart of Assad’s alleged chemical weapons program, Trump was adamant he wanted to withdraw some 2,000 troops stationed in Syria for the fight against ISIS. After international outcry over the suspected use of chemical weapons, the question is whether the U.S. will engage in the civil war between the regime — with Russia and Iran’s support — and rebel forces seeking to oust Assad.
Macron and Trump have built an unexpected friendship in the past year, and Macron will be the honored guest for the state dinner of the Trump presidency.
“We have a very special relationship because both of us are probably the maverick of the systems on both sides,” Macron, who will arrive in Washington Monday, told Wallace.
Macron is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress Wednesday and will address trade and economic relations between the U.S. and France in addition to cooperation on military issues.
This report, by Thomas Phippen, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.