Macron to put 'bromance' with Trump to the test during US visit

Updated 0854 GMT (1654 HKT) April 23, 2018

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Paris (CNN)It was last July that US President Donald Trump laid bare the depth of his feelings for his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

For Trump, it was not the romantic dinner at the prestigious Le Jules Verne restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower, nor the rendition of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" by a marching band that impressed, but that remarkable 29-second handshake.
Perhaps what appeared at first to be two men attempting to assert their own alpha male credentials was actually a sign of respect and admiration.
Whatever the case, by the time Trump left Paris after a whirlwind 36 hours that included a spectacular Bastille Day parade, he was sold on Macron.
"He's a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand," Trump told the New York Times after his visit to Paris.
"People don't realize he loves holding my hand. And that's good, as far as that goes."
    "I mean, really. He's a very good person," Trump went on. "And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand."
    Trump backed his comments up further in January when he afforded Macron the honor of being the first foreign leader invited for a state visit by the Trump administration.
    The three-day visit, which begins on Monday, comes at a time when the pair are working to strengthen ties between their nations.

    Beyond the bravado

    At first glance, the relationship between Trump, a 71-year-old isolationist who enjoys cable news and long days on the golf course, and the 40-year-old Macron, a pro-European integrationist who likes to quote philosophers and extol the virtues of the arts, seems unlikely.