1234 GMT October 22, 2018
Barack Obama was due to have lunch with Macron at the Elysée Palace — in a ‘private capacity,’ the French presidency said — before addressing a network of communications professionals known as the Napoleons, france24.com reported.
Meetings with Hollande and the Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, were also on the agenda.
The former US leader, who visited Beijing and New Delhi this week, had stood alongside Hollande and Hidalgo two years ago during a memorial ceremony for the victims of the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in the French capital.
During his visit on Saturday, he is expected to discuss efforts to uphold the Climate Agreement that was signed in Paris later that year — but which his successor, Donald Trump, has pulled out of.
Obama’s visit comes as Macron pursues a tricky diplomatic strategy with Trump, whom he hosted as the guest of honor at the Bastille Day celebrations this year in an unsuccessful bid to change his mind on climate.
Macron and Trump are also at odds on the issue of the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, which the French leader wants to save.
Macron, 39, sought to channel Obama's ‘hope and change’ message during his campaign for the presidency, focusing on mobilizing grassroots support for his upstart centrist movement En Marche ! (On the Move!).
Obama gave his official backing to Macron in an online video in May, three days before the second round of the election in which Macron roundly beat far-right rival Marine Le Pen.