April 23 (UPI) — Fifteen months into his first term, President Donald Trump on Monday will hold the first official state visit of his presidency — from French President Emmanuel Macron.
Though Trump has hosted a number of foreign leaders at the White House since his inauguration, he has yet to hold an official state visit — denoted by the State Department as the highest ranking visit to the United States in which a guest is offered a room for four days and three nights at Blair House, the President’s official guest house. It’s also marked by a state dinner at the White House and a departure ceremony on the south grounds.
Gifts may also be exchanged and spouses may attend state ceremonies and dinners.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump are set to greet the French president and first lady Brigitte Macron Monday afternoon. The four will plant a tree on the South Lawn of the White House and will later depart for Mount Vernon for a private, official dinner.
The Macrons and Trumps will tour the grounds at Mount Vernon and visit the grave site of former President George Washington.
“The setting will serve as a beautiful reminder of France’s unique status as America’s very first ally going all the way back to the American revolution,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Trump and Macron will likely discuss several issues, including the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Observers say Macron will likely make the case for Trump to stay in the deal, as a May 12 decision deadline looms.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Macron suggested it would be a mistake for Trump to withdraw from the pact — which lifts sanctions against Iran in exchange for a shutdown of Tehran’s nuclear weapons program.
“You cannot make a trade war with your allies,” Macron said. “It’s too complicated if you make war against everybody. You make trade war against China, trade war against Europe, war in Syria, war against Iran, it doesn’t work. You need allies.”
Since taking office, Trump been critical of the Obama-era deal — signed in 2015 by Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia — saying Tehran got “too much” from the deal for “far too little.”
Macron may also try to get assurances from Trump that the United States will not leave Syria until the Islamic State terror group is defeated.