Foot on table: British PM at home in French president palace

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French President Emmanuel Macron, left, talks to Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson during their meeting at the Elysee Palace, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 in Paris. Boris Johnson traveled to Berlin Wednesday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel before heading to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. (Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP)

PARIS (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apparently wasn’t sweating it despite the high stakes subject of his talks with the president of France: Brexit.

So relaxed was he during his Thursday visit to Paris that he sat deep in an upholstered chair in an Elysee Palace salon — and briefly put his foot on a coffee table.

President Emmanuel Macron, facing his guest from a chair on the other side of the small round table, appeared to make his guest feel at home.

Macron modernized the palace furniture after his 2017 election, casting off formality for high-toned comfort and a more relaxed style.

The two men joked, with Macron slapping his hand on the table. Johnson put his foot on it, while Macron pointed to the floor — where feet belong. Boris then said “sorry” with a wave and laugh.

The informal posture of the two, acting like clowning chums despite differences over Britain’s expected fall departure from the EU, may be the new normal in the often-tense world of diplomacy. After all, Macron squeezed the thigh of President Donald Trump during a meeting in Paris in November.

The Elysee later called Thursday’s encounter “complete” and “constructive.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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