French president Emmanuel Macron said he “for sure” shares the outrage over president Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about African nations and Haiti.
The US president reportedly described them as “s***hole countries” earlier this month during talks about immigration. Mr Trump denied using that language.
Mr Macron told the BBC in an interview broadcast Sunday that it’s “not a word you can use” when one wants respectful relations.
“I think a lot of our issues in both the Middle East and in Africa is due to a lot of frustrations, due to a lot of past humiliations,” Mr Macron said. “And we have to understand that.”
The French president described Mr Trump as “not a classical politician”. However, he said he has a “very good” and “very direct” relationship with him,
“He was elected by the American people,” he said. “I want to work with him.”
When asked if he wakes up in the morning worrying about Mr Trump’s tweets, Mr Macron said: “I think we should not overplay the situation and these tweets.”
The French and US leaders have met on several occasions, and have expressed willingness to work together on matters ranging from security to counter-terrorism.
However, Mr Macron has criticised Mr Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and his plan to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.
He also disapproves of Mr Trump’s resolve to leave the Paris climate agreement. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Macron said the climate accord is “not renegotiable”.
On Brexit, Mr Macron said Britain would be able to have a bespoke deal with the European Union after Brexit, one of prime minister Theresa May’s objectives.
But the French President said London’s financial centre could not enjoy the same level of access to the EU under May’s current Brexit plan, which envisages Britain leaving the EU’s single market and customs union.