>> Expect the same firm handshake just in a different setting. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected in Washington to meet Donald Trump, and he arrives with a reputation as the US president's best friend in Europe. For that, he is being rewarded with the first official state visit of Trump's administration.
But Reuters' John Irish in Paris says Macron's visit won't be easy, with three weighty issues at stake.>> The first one being the Iran nuclear deal. Trump has set a deadline of May the 12th for the Europeans, and the US to work to fixing the deal, or he'll kill the deal.
Fixing the deal, he means to have some elements that weren't in the original nuclear deal, which is Iran's ballistic missile activity, Iran's regional activities in the region, and also to actually tweak elements of the deal.>> Another thorny subject is trade. Macron will hope to move Trump away from slapping new tariffs on metals such as steel and aluminum.
And then there's the West's long-term strategy in Syria. France won plaudits in the West Wing for joining a recent strike on the country, but there's disagreement about what comes next. On all these, Macron will be speaking for France, first of all, but also for the EU. And he needs to show that getting cozy with the US leader is the right strategy.
So Macron really needs to show in this trip, whilst he might not get something concrete, that there is some progress and that he has some influence on Trump. Because after a year of having a very good relationship, or at least building one on paper and in the public, he hasn't had much to show for it.
Whatever happens, Macron has got one over the neighbors. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has to wait until later in the week for her audience in the White House.