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France's Macron honors U.S. forces in Bastille day celebration

FRANCE-PARIS-BASTILLE DAY-PARADE

The Special Military School of Saint-Cyr Legion march during the annual Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

PARIS, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Emmanuel Macron, France's youngest president in modern history, on Friday celebrated his first-ever Bastille Day, or French National Day, with the usual pomp, military parade and flight show, commemorating the centenary of the United Statesentering World War I.

Alongside his guest of honor U.S. President Donald Trump, Macron presided over the military parade down the Champs Elysees Avenue with some 3,720 soldiers, including 211 armored vehicles, 241 horses and 92 jets and helicopters flying over the sky.

At around 10:30 local time (0830 GMT), French fighter jets, Rafale and Mirage 2000 followed by U.S. F-16s opened the annual parade with an air show, symbolizing the two countries' military cooperation.

After an infamous fierce handshake in their first meeting in May, Macron, a pro-business reformist and Trump, an advocate of nationalism, looked relaxed during the parade.

"This is a wonderful national celebration. Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom," Trump said at a press meeting on Thursday.

Macron said Washington remains Paris' strategic ally despite strong disagreement over climate change.

"One needs to continue dialogue even with disagreement. I'm in strong conflict with President Trump over the climate issue. But it's essential to have regular exchanges," he said.

"We have found reliable allies, friends, who came to our rescue; the United States of America is one of them. The presence of President Donald Trump and his wife is a sign of a friendship that goes through time and I want to thank them for the choice made 100 years ago," Macron told the gathering on Friday.

After the parade, the French president joined a commemoration in the southern city of Nice to honor the 86 people who were killed when a man drove a truck at a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day last year.

[ Editor: meng ]