French President Emmanuel Macron looked delighted to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Paris on Monday.
Macron could be seen smiling in anticipation as the black Citroën carrying Trudeau approached the staircase leading to the Élysée Palace, the French president’s official residence.
As soon as Trudeau stepped out of the vehicle, the two men greeted each other warmly, hugging, shaking hands and patting each other’s back. They walked toward the building, then stopped for the photographers once again just before disappearing inside for a one-on-one meeting.
Trudeau was once known to be close to former President Barack Obama, but since the end of the American’s term in office, another relatively young and progressive political leader has arrived to fill those shoes.
Macron and Trudeau first met shortly after the French presidential election last May, on the occasion of the G-7 summit, held in the picturesque Sicilian town of Taormina and attended by the leaders of seven of the world’s largest economies—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.
The pair took a stroll in a garden surrounded by blossoming flowers and palm trees before pausing to chat at a terrace overlooking a spectacular view of the Ionian Sea. The pictures photographers took went viral on Twitter, with many users commenting on the “insanely romantic” stroll.
Canada’s The Globe and Mail also remarked on the leaders’ similarities, writing in a Monday editorial headlined “Emmanuel Macron is becoming the Trudeau we wanted” that the two “seem cut from the same bespoke fabric.”
While last year it was Macron who remarked on the strengthened ties between Canada and France, this time it was Trudeau who mentioned their close friendship.
“Canada & France are the closest of friends with an ambitious vision to build a better world and fight climate change. Today in Paris, President @EmmanuelMacron & I focused on greater cooperation between our countries,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet summarizing their meeting.
The Macron-Trudeau cooperation is more important than ever, as Canada prepares to host the G-7 in Charlevoix, Quebec, in June. While neither Trudeau nor Macron could be considered a left-wing politician, they uphold a more socially and economically liberal political vision than the leaders of the other countries, who all come from center-right and conservative parties—except Italy, where a government has yet to be formed after last month’s election.
In their Paris meeting, the two leaders discussed a series of issues of global concern that they have championed on both the national and international stage, such as the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, gender equality and the fight against climate change, ahead of the June G-7 summit.
Macron, whose picture appears right next to Trudeau on the G-7 2018 website, reassured the Canadian prime minister he will have his back. “With Justin Trudeau, the ambition we have is greater than our countries, it’s a common progressive vision,” Macron wrote in a tweet, adding, “We will bring it together in June, in Canada, for the G-7 Summit. See you very soon Justin!”
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