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Emmanuel Macron and Pope talk poverty, migration and Europe in unusually long meeting 

Emmanuel Macron and Pope talk poverty, migration and Europe in unusually long meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, accused at home of straining France's secular foundations by seeking to mend ties with the Catholic Church, discussed Europe, migration and poverty in an unusually long meeting with Pope Francis on Tuesday. The two talked together for nearly an hour in the official papal library in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, about twice as long as Francis usually spends with heads of state or government. They discussed "protection of the environment, migration, and multilateral commitment to conflict prevention and resolution, especially in relation to disarmament," a Vatican statement said. They also spoke about prospects for resolving conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and the future of Europe, it said. At the end of the private part of the audience, Macron gave Francis a rare copy of Georges Bernanos 1936 book "Diary of a Country Priest". "I've read this book many times and it has done me good. It is a book that I have always loved very much," the pope told Macron, 40, who was accompanied in the public parts of the meeting by his wife Brigitte. Pope Francis insisted on the importance of tending to the poor amid claims by rivals of Emmanuel Macron that he is "the president of the rich". Credit: ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP Francis gave Macron a medallion depicting Martin of Tours, a 4th century saint who is depicted cutting his cloak in half to give it to a beggar in winter. "This means the vocation of those who govern is to help the poor. We are all poor," Francis told Macron as he was giving him the medallion. Macron earned himself the nickname "president of the rich" in France after scrapping a wealth tax and cutting a popular housing allowance in the first year of his mandate, hurting his popularity with the working class. As Macron left the library, he and Francis exchanged a two-cheek kiss, another very unusual gesture between a pope and a visiting head of state. The Vatican was expected to issue a statement later on the themes discussed during the private talks. Two months ago, Macron called for stronger ties between the state and the Catholic Church, a move critics said blurred a line that has kept French government free of religious intervention for generations. Emmanuel Macron is at the Vatican at a time of tension between France and Italy over migrants Credit:  ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP The issue is particularly sensitive in historically Catholic France, where matters of faith and state were separated by law in 1905 and which is now home to Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities. France’s guiding principles also hold that religious observance is a private matter, for all faiths. Macron was raised in a non-religious family and was baptized a Roman Catholic at his own request when he was 12. After leaving the Vatican he was installed as the "First and Only Honorary Canon" of the Rome Basilica of St John's in Lateran, which is the pope’s cathedral in his capacity as bishop of Rome. Under a tradition that began in the 15th century when France was a monarchy, French leaders are automatically given the title. Macron took his seat of honour in basilica's elaborately carved wooden choir stall to the applause of those in attendance, including members of the local French ex patriot community. 



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Macron backs Merkel in German row over migrants

Macron backs Merkel in German row over migrantsFrench President Emmanuel Macron on Friday offered his backing to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a bitter row with her interior minister over her liberal immigration policy. “Countries are committed to the paths taken by their heads of state or government,” he told reporters. “Germany also has a head of government,” he said of Merkel, saying it was she who was “responsible before her people and her parliament”.



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France's Macron seeks common ground with Italy on immigration

France's Macron seeks common ground with Italy on immigrationBy Michel Rose and Richard Lough PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged Italy’s new prime minister to work with France, Germany and Spain on resolving migration issues rather than siding with an anti-immigration “axis” emerging within the European Union. Smiling and calling each other “my friend”, Macron and Italian premier Giuseppe Conte sought to bury the hatchet in Paris after a diplomatic squabble erupted this week over Rome’s refusal to accept a migrant rescue ship at its ports. There is concern in Paris over what stance Italy’s anti-establishment government, led by lawyer Conte and with the head of the populist League party as deputy, will take on pan-European issues such as euro zone integration and asylum.



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Emmanuel Macron Ordered a Really Fancy Set of China and People Are Angry

Emmanuel Macron Ordered a Really Fancy Set of China and People Are AngryHe's facing criticism for his spending habits again



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France's Emmanuel Macron Throws Down Trump Twitter Gauntlet: G7 Can Be G6

France's Emmanuel Macron Throws Down Trump Twitter Gauntlet: G7 Can Be G6From international pal to Twitter challenger, French President Emmanuel Macron



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Netanyahu to Macron: Nuclear deal will die, need to tackle Iran's 'aggression'

Netanyahu to Macron: Nuclear deal will die, need to tackle Iran's 'aggression'By John Irish and Marine Pennetier PARIS (Reuters) – Israel’s leader urged France on Tuesday to turn its attention to tackling Iran’s “regional aggression”, saying he no longer needed to convince Paris to quit world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran as economic pressure would kill it anyway. Benjamin Netanyahu was in Paris for talks with President Emmanuel Macron as part of a tour to persuade the European signatories – Britain, France and Germany – to follow Washington’s lead in pursuing a tough stance on Iran after it pulled out of the accord and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. “I didn’t ask France to withdraw from the JCPOA (Iran deal) because I think it is basically going to be dissolved by the weight of economic forces,” Netanyahu told a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.



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President Macron offers citizenship to migrant who saved dangling child

President Macron offers citizenship to migrant who saved dangling childFrench President Emmanuel Macron granted Mamoudou Gassama citizenship and offered him a job with the Paris emergency services.



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Emmanuel Macron Turns to Vladimir Putin in an Effort to Salvage the Iran Nuclear Deal

Emmanuel Macron Turns to Vladimir Putin in an Effort to Salvage the Iran Nuclear DealBoth men want to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal



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Emmanuel Macron raises eyebrows after calling Australian Prime Minister’s wife 'delicious'

Emmanuel Macron raises eyebrows after calling Australian Prime Minister’s wife 'delicious'Emmanuel Macron, the French President, has raised eyebrows during his visit to Australia by calling prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's wife Lucy "delicious". At the end of a joint news conference between the two leaders, the 40-year old French president turned to thank Mr Turnbull for his hospitality. “I want to thank you for your welcome,” he said, before raising the Gallic charm a notch by adding: “Thank you and your delicious wife for your warm welcome." Mr Macron's interesting choice of English prompted instant mirth on social media, amid some confusion over his intent. The jury appears to be out over whether it was an odd, but deliberate play on words or a linguistic slip-up. Macron just said he wanted to thank Malcolm Turnbull and his "delicious wife". You can take the man out of France but…— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) May 2, 2018 Some observers thought he may have used the word “delicious” as a deliberate joke, coming just seconds after Mr Turnbull referred to the French president’s imminent lunch with members of Sydney's French community. Others suggested that Mr Macron, who prides himself on speaking fluent English, simply fell foul of a “false friend”. The French word for delicious – délicieux – can also translate as “delightful”, even if it is a rather antiquated – some would argue sexist – term. The potential for linguist slip-ups is not all one-way however, and there is ample potential for English-speakers to fall foul of French. Emmanuel Macron poses with Malcolm Turnbull  and his wife Lucy Turnbull outside the Sydney Opera House  Credit:  AFP One bloomer to avoid at all costs is to use the French word “excité” to describe oneself as excited; in French it means you are sexually aroused. If it was a linguistic slip, Mr Macron is by no means the first leader to experience translation problems.  Arguably the most infamous supposed gaffe was John F Kennedy's legendary claim: "Ich bin ein Berliner", which could mean "I'm a Berliner" or "I'm a doughnut".  Emmanuel Macron is by no means the first leader to experience translation problems Credit: LUDOVIC MARIN/ AFP In 2009, France's Europe minister, Pierre Lellouche, sparked a diplomatic incident by branding Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge to reclaim EU powers "pathetic". The term in French is often translated as "moving", "touching" or "poignant". One solution would be to avoid English altogether.  That would clearly be to the liking of France's ambassador to the EU, Philippe Léglise-Costa, who walked out of a meeting with fellow EU envoys last week in Brussels in disapproval at the use of English. He was said to have exclaimed: "Monsieur, Non!"



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Emmanuel Macron turns to Iran to propose widening nuclear deal as Trump wavers

Emmanuel Macron turns to Iran to propose widening nuclear deal as Trump waversEmmanuel Macron and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Sunday night agreed to work together to preserver the Iran nuclear deal, in a marked signal to the US.  Less than a week after the French president implored the White House to stick with the agreement during a state visit to the Washington, Mr Macron suggested that the deal could be widened. In what appears to be the latest attempt to prevent Donald Trump scrapping the agreement, the Elysee Palace said Mr Macron proposed in an hour-long phone call with Tehran that discussions should close loop holes in the deal, which have angered the US president. The Elysee said that Mr Macron raised "three additional, indispensable subjects" not covered by the current deal with Mr Rouhani, citing Tehran's ballistic missile programmes, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 and Iran's destabilising influence in the Middle East. It comes after the UK, France and Germany jointly reaffirmed their commitment on Sunday to sticking with the deal, but said that there were "important elements that the deal does not cover, but which we need to address". Mr Pompeo warned over the Iran deal during a visit to Saudi Arabia on a tour of the Middle East Credit: Amr Nabil/AP Mr Macron's intervention came after Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, called Iran "the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world," on Sunday in a further signal that America intends to pull out of the nuclear deal. Speaking at a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during his first visit to the Middle East since being sworn in last week, Mr Pompeo struck a hawkish tone as Donald Trump’s deadline for a decision on the deal looms on May 12th. However, he offered hope of some compromise to the UK, France and Germany. “We will continue to work with our European allies to fix that deal. But if a deal cannot be reached, the president has said that he will leave that deal," Mr  Pompeo said. But he added: "Unlike the prior administration, we will not neglect the vast scope of Iran’s terrorism. It is indeed the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world. In fact, Iran has only behaved worse since the deal was approved. Iran detabilises this entire region." Downing Street on Sunday announced Theresa May has had separate discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend in which they solidified their stance in support of the deal. FAQ | Iran nuclear talks In a nod to Mr Trump and in the wake of visits to the US last week from Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel, the three leaders acknowledged there were key issues that needed to be addressed inlcuding the question of Iran's ballistic missile programme and what happens when the deal expires. A Downing Street spokesman said: "They discussed the importance of the Iran nuclear deal as the best way of neutralising the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, agreeing that our priority as an international community remained preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. "They agreed that there were important elements that the deal does not cover, but which we need to address.” "Acknowledging the importance of retaining the deal, they committed to continue working closely together and with the US on how to tackle the range of challenges that Iran poses.” Number 10 said the three European leaders had also spoken about the “vital importance” of their steel and aluminum industries and their concern about the impact of US tariffs. Iran nuclear talks They pledged to work together to obtain a permanent exemption from the tariffs. There is less than two weeks to go before the May 12 deadline for Mr Trump to decide on the Iran deal. Iran has threatened to restart nuclear activity should Mr Trump scupper the agreement, with President Hassan Rouhani calling Mr Trump a "tradesman" who lacks the qualifications to deal with a complex international pact. On Sunday Mr Rouhani told Mr Macron in a telephone conversation that the Iran nuclear deal was "not negotiable". Speaking on Fox News on Sunday John Bolton, the US administration's new national security adviser, said Mr Trump had yet to make a decision Mr Bolton said: "He has made no decision on the nuclear deal whether to stay in or get out.There is no decision on that yet." A wider question remains regarding North Korea's response to reimposing sanctions on Iran just as negotiations are underway for an historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and the US leader. But Mr Pompeo said yesterday: “I don't think Kim Jong-un is staring at the Iran deal and saying, ‘Oh goodness, if they get out of that deal, I won't talk to the Americans anymore,’"   “There are higher priorities, things that he is more concerned about than whether or not the Americans stay in the [agreement].”



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