February 2, 2023

French officials just announced they’re openly ignoring Trump’s latest set of demands

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In the space of just two years, President Donald Trump has taken the United States from the leader of the Western world to an afterthought whose demands are ignored on a whim, especially when those demands are made in bad faith or are simply selfish.


That much was made clear this morning when French officials announced they would simply be ignoring Trump’s Saturday demands to repatriate French citizen ISIS fighters and their families.

“There is a new geo-political context, with the U.S. withdrawal. For the time being, we are not changing our policy. At this stage France is not responding to (Trump’s) demands,” said Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet.

President Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw all American forces from Syria as soon as possible has forced the once US-led coalition against the terror group known as ISIS (Daesh/ISIL) to grapple with a difficult question: what to do with captured fighters and their families who are European citizens?

On Saturday, Trump demanded (via Twitter, of course) that France, Britain, and Germany repatriate their citizens back to their own countries to stand trial, which the nations are understandably loath to do — and threatened to release them if they didn’t accept them.

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The French position has been that the fighters should face justice in Iraq or Syria, depending on where they committed their crimes, and they’ve made it clear they’re not budging just because Trump wants them to.

The situation is a complicated one, to be sure, but it’s unlikely that any other American president would have made this demand in such a brusque and hostile fashion. Whenever he deals with our European allies, his animosity is palpable — a stark contrast to when he engages with Russia or North Korea, to whom he is disturbingly accommodating.

Considering the rudeness of the President’s recent complaints about Emmanuel Macron’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement and his constant disparagement of our European allies for “not doing their fair share,” it’s no wonder France isn’t in the mood to take orders from him.

Original reporting by Richard Lough and Caroline Pailliez at Reuters.

Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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