Macron to replace tree symbolising Franco-American friendship

French President Emmanuel Macron attends the International Labour Organization's annual labour conference in Geneva Switzerland
REUTERS  Denis Balibouse

French President Emmanuel Macron attends the International Labour Organization's annual labour conference in Geneva Switzerland REUTERS Denis Balibouse

Macron also confirmed the tree's death in an interview with Swiss television station RTS on Tuesday, CNN reported.

Responding to social media posts, Mr Macron said people should not read symbols into everything. Things turned sour between the two men after Macron gave a speech about the dangers of nationalism in November 2018 while commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the First World War.

It died in quarantine after being dug up.

"We will send him another, it is not a tragedy", Macron told Switzerland's RTS network on the sidelines of an International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva.

Trump and Macron planted the tree with their wives watching on but it was not in the lawns of the White House for long as it was soon placed in quarantine due to national law regarding the potential introduction of parasites.

The United States and France have a historically shared a close relationship.

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As Macron wrote on Twitter at the time, the tree "will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us".

After the tree was initially planted, it was then uprooted and put in quarantine - a normal procedure for any foreign plant brought into the U.S.

The two leaders commemorated their countries' relationship by planting the sapling in the grounds of the White House but U.S. officials this week confirmed that it had died.

"America is never as big as when it is fighting for the freedom of others", he said.

Yet despite the symbolic setback, officials in both countries say Trump and Macron have been getting along well.

Trump said on the trip that relations between the two countries and leaders were "exceptional" but the leaders have disagreed on a number of key issues lately including sanctions on Iran, trade, and climate change.

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