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Putin, Macron urge world to back Iran deal as Trump decides

04 May 2018

The oak had originally sprouted at the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France, where around 2,000 US troops died fighting the German Spring Offensive.

"It was actually a special favour from Trump to France to be able to plant the tree the day of the president's visit", an official from Macron's office said. The two heads planted the sapling on April 23 in the South Lawn.

An official from Macron's office told Reuters the tree is doing well in quarantine and will be replanted at the White House soon.

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A pictured emerged on Saturday showing a patch of uneven, yellowed grass where the planting photo had been taken. When a follower fired back that the caution seemed a bit late - given that the tree had already been planted - the diplomat went on to confirm that the roots had been enclosed in plastic.

Trump is a climate-change denialist who pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord, so the French president's arboreal gift could be read as an environmental message.

Pompeo, visiting Riyadh on Sunday during his first trip as the US top diplomat, said he "stressed the importance" of Gulf unity in talks with Saudi officials.

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The problem: Parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.

According to US Customs and Border Protection regulations, all plants brought into the country must be declared and inspected by agriculture specialists.

Plants being brought into the US must also come with a "foreign phytosanitary certificate", which certifies that plants and plant products are free from regulated pests, in addition to meeting a number of other requirements.

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"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", the White House said.

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Putin, Macron urge world to back Iran deal as Trump decides