Macron compared to Pétain over threat to withdraw from UN seat in EU army push

Emmanuel Macron to 'criticise' Biden over AUKUS says Turle

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Replying to the Daily Telegraph, which published these claims, Mr Gallois said: “If true, Macron who paid homage to Pétain would go down in history at the same level as him.” He then sensationally claimed that if Mr Macron did sacrifice France’s seat “it’s hard to imagine a higher treason”.

In 2018, Mr Macron said it was “legitimate” to pay tribute to Marshal Philippe Pétain, who was decorated as a World War 1 hero before collaborating with Nazi Germany in World War 2.

Mr Macron’s endorsement of celebrations of Marshal Pétain in 2018 sparked backlash, and prompted the President’s office to quickly backpedal on Mr Macron’s statement.

Reacting today, France Jamet, French MEP and member of the National Front, succinctly commented about the Telegraph’s front page: “Macron would be capable of that.”

Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front and Macron’s political rival, also responded to the Daily Telegraph on Twitter.

She said: “According to several statements by Sandro Gozi in a Daily Telegraph article, Macron offered to hand over our seat in the Security Council in exchange for a move towards a European army.”

She added: “If this information is correct, it is an act of treason against the Nation.

“If it’s not, Emmanuel Macron must say something quickly.”

@Elysee, the official Twitter account of the President of the French Republic, hit back at the Daily Telegraph article and Mr Macron’s political critics.

The account tweeted: “Contrary to the claims of the British tabloid Daily Telegraph relayed this morning, no, France has not offered to give up its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

“It belongs to France and it will remain like that.”

In the article published in the Daily Telegraph, it was reported that Mr Macron could be willing to put France’s United Nations Security Council seat “at the disposal of the European Union.”

This would be conditional on the EU governments backing Macron’s plans for an ‘EU army,’ the Telegraph attributed to a source close to the French president.

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Post-Brexit, France is currently the only EU state to hold a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

The UK, the US, Russia and China occupy the other four permanent seats.

Renewed efforts from the French government in advancing the idea of an EU army come in the wake of the AUKUS agreement, which left France enraged.

The trilateral security pact was announced last week by US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

It meant the cancelling of an existing deal between France and Australia for the supply of conventional submarines.

The 2016 deal will now be scrapped in favour of nuclear-powered submarines offered by the AUKUS agreement.

Calls for an ‘EU army’ have also become louder this month, following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the country.

Sandro Gozi, an MEP for Mr Macron’s party and former Europe minister for Italy, told the Telegraph: “I think that if we move on these things we can put on the table also the discussion on the Security Council.”

The Telegraph additionally quoted Maro Sefcovic, the European Commission’s deputy head, as confirming that the EU is planning on addressing desires for “common defence.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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