Macron urges Trump to keep US troops in Syria

The US President pledged to leave a "strong and lasting footprint" in the war-torn country

Macron urges Trump to keep US troops in Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House, 24-04-2018. Image: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged his US counterpart Donald Trump to keep US troops in Syria to ensure the defeat of ISIS militants.

President Trump did not promise to keep troops in war-torn country but did say he would not withdraw forces straight away.

He said: "We want to come home. We'll be coming home. But we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint."

The talks come after the US, France and Britain launched missile strikes in Syria this month to respond to an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma. 

During the talks, the American President also informed Mr Macron that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - who he called "very open minded" and "honourable" - wanted to meet "as soon as possible."

Earlier in the day, at the welcome ceremony, Mr Macron told Mr Trump, their countries would defeat terrorism, put an end to the threat of nuclear weapons from Iran and North Korea and act together on behalf of the planet, referring to the French leader's efforts to bring the US back into the Paris climate accord.

"History is calling us. It is urging our people to find the fortitude that has guided us in the most difficult of times," said Mr Macron. "France and with it, Europe, and the United States have an appointment with history."

The Iran nuclear deal is high on the agenda for President Macron's State visit to Washington.

The two men called for a new deal this evening after President Trump again labelled the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) "insane."

The Us President warned Iran that it would face “big problems” if it moved to re-launch its nuclear weapons programme.