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Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron dine at historic Mount Vernon in Virginia

Mount Vernon on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia is the estate of first US president George Washington.

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Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron dine at historic Mount Vernon in Virginia
President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, second from left, and Brigitte Macron, left, talks as they walk to a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.
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US President Donald Trump has dined with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron along with their spouses at the historic Mount Vernon on the eve of the Trump administration's First State Dinner at the White House.

Mount Vernon on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia is the estate of first US president George Washington.

Trump's first year went without receiving a foreign leader on a state visit. The Trump administration's First State Dinner at the White House will take place tomorrow.
"We had a great dinner," Trump told reporters as the foursome left after spending a few hours at Mt Vernon.

The dinner was closed for the press, but the two leaders along with their spouses posed for pictures.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump along with Macron and Brigitte Macron toured the mansion. They were also spotted at the back Veranda overlooking the Potomac River.

The four spent a few minutes before the start of the dinner looking at paintings with their greeters. They then went upstairs to continue their visit.

Before leaving for Mt Vernon, the two leaders planted a sapling on the White House lawns. The sapling, a gift from Macron, was a European Sessile Oak measuring approximately 4.5 feet tall with an estimated age between 5-10 years.

The tree comes from Belleau Woods, and is a historic landmark of the US engagement in the First World War.

Over 9,000 American marines died in the Belleau Wood battle in June 1918 and the forest is a memorial site and important symbol of the sacrifice the United States made to ensure peace and stability in Europe.

"France is a very special country... It's a great honour," Trump told reporters to a shouted question.

Earlier in the day, Macron and Brigitte arrived at Andrews air force base. Being the State guest, they are staying at the Blair House.

This was the sixth time when the two Presidents met, with the most notable meeting being Trump's trip to Paris for the Bastille Day parade in July last year.
Since Macron came to power, the two leaders have had around 20 phone calls together, French officials said.

In September 2017, Trump and Macron met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

In July 2017, Trump spent two days visiting with Macron to commemorate Bastille Day and the entry of the United States into World War I.

And in May 2017, Trump hosted Macron at the official residence of the US Ambassador to Belgium for a meeting before the NATO summit.

"This visit will celebrate the long and enduring friendship between France and the US. Discussions will include economic, diplomatic and global issues," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.

In a statement, the White House said Trump is continuing the legacy of French-American cooperation that stretches back to America's independence and working with Macron to build the already strong ties between the United States and France.

Noting that Trump has made clear that the bond between the US and France is unbreakable, the White House said "the relationship between the two countries dates back to the days of the American Revolution, when thousands of French soldiers fought alongside American troops and provided crucial support in our fight for freedom and liberty".

According to the White House, the US has worked closely with France to combat terror around the world and, most recently, confront Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's heinous chemical weapons attack. 

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