Emmanuel Macron calls for 'Europe of defence' at show of force on Bastille Day

French soldiers parade during the Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris – AFP

Emmanuel Macron presided over a show of European force at France’s annual Bastille Day military parade on Sunday, calling for a “Europe of defence” alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders from the continent. 

The French president has argued for greater military co-operation in the bloc as the US cannot be relied upon to guarantee security under Donald Trump.

Three British Chinook helicopters and a Eurofighter were among more than 100 aircraft from 10 EU countries that flew over Paris as soldiers, police and firefighters marched down the iconic Champs-Elysées avenue. 

German, Spanish, Portuguese and Finnish soldiers also took part.

Theresa May was represented by the Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, her de facto deputy, after she cancelled a plan to attend.

Credit: AFP

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Credit: Reuters