PRESIDENT Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron set aside differences on climate change during their meeting in Paris, asserting that it should not prevent them from working together toward a post-war roadmap for Syria and to enhance Middle East security.

Trump, standing alongside Macron at a news conference, said the two nations have “occasional disagreements” but that would not disrupt a friendship that dates back to the American Revolution.

The US President remained non-committal about the United States eventually rejoining the global climate agreement that bears Paris’s name, telling Macron: “If it happens that will be wonderful, and if it doesn’t that will be OK too”.

The meeting came hours after federal regulators in the US conditionally approved exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea by a subsidiary of an Italian multinational oil and gas company.

Macron, playing host to Trump ahead of the annual Bastille Day celebrations, acknowledged sharp differences on the Paris climate pact, but said the two leaders could find other areas of cooperation.

“Should that have an impact on the discussions we’re having on all other topics? No, absolutely not,” he said.

Later, Trump told Brigitte Macron, the wife of the French President, that she was “in such great shape”.

The exchange was captured on a live stream of the tour provided by the French government.

President Trump arrived in the French capital yesterday for a whirlwind 36-hour visit to meet President Macron and tackle potential solutions to the crisis in Syria and discuss broader counter-terrorism strategies.

President Trump also plans to participate in Bastille Day celebrations today and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War before returning to Washington.

The President landed in Paris amid questions about emails showing that his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, welcomed the prospect of receiving Russian government support in last year’s presidential contest between his father and Hillary Clinton.

President Trump defended his namesake, saying that “most people would have taken that meeting” – a message that contradicted his incoming FBI director’s testimony that Donald Trump Jr should have instead alerted authorities.

President Trump called his son a “wonderful young man” and continued to downplay the issue, saying that “nothing happened” as a result of the meeting.

The president says the Russian national involved was not a government lawyer.

However, the emails Donald Trump Jr received pitched her as one.

Earlier, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he is sending a letter to Donald Trump Jr to ask him to testify. Senator Chuck Grassley said he would subpoena the President’s eldest son if necessary.

The Iowa Republican says he wants Trump Jr to appear “pretty soon”, and it could be as early as next week.

Trump Jr released emails this week from 2016 in which he appeared eager to accept information from the Russian government that could have damaged Clinton’s campaign.

The panel is investigating Russian meddling in the US election.