US President Donald Trump, under fire at home over Russian connections and overseas over climate change and trade, arrives in Paris later today seeking common ground with France's new leader Emmanuel Macron.
After their meeting, they'll hold a news conference, the first for Trump since the news broke of son Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting past year with a Russian attorney.
Before leaving the US, the President insisted the White House is "functioning perfectly" despite an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 which continues to dog his administration.
Mr Macron supports intervention against Syria's government in response to its use of chemical weapons and could prove an important ally as the Trump administration seeks to increase pressure against Mr Assad.
Talks between the two leaders are expected to focus on joint efforts to combat the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.
At the end of May, Trump and Macron met in Brussels. But the us secret service does not skimp on security: they have required that these cultural venues are closed to the public to welcome the First Lady.
The pair looked slightly uncomfortable in one another's company, with Mr Trump appearing to walk into Macron at one point.
Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte as well as Donald Trump with his wife Melania, should enjoy their dinner.
During the brief visit, Trump is to be the guest of honor for Bastille Day festivities that are to feature 63 planes, 29 helicopters, 241 horses and 3,720 soldiers.
A year ago Trump described Paris as "so, so, so out of control, so unsafe", because of terrorists operating there.
Melania Trump visits the Necker Hospital for children in Paris, France, on Thursday.
But the nature of the relationship between the two men is ambiguous.
Mr Trump has made few friends in Europe with his rejection of the Paris accord on climate change and "America First" trade stance.
President Trump said that "most people would have taken that meeting", contradicting his incoming Federal Bureau of Investigation director's testimony that Donald Trump Jr should have instead alerted authorities.
For the embattled American president, the trips overseas - the visit to France will be his third abroad in two months - have been a surprising pleasure, a reprieve from days filled with cable news coverage of the Russian Federation investigation and swirling questions of whether his campaign aides worked in concert with the foreign power.
Climate change isn't the only area of difference.
The greater risk is for Trump, said Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute for International Relations. This morning at the airport he seemed to be having fun.Rocky pastWhite House officials said that during the visit Mr Macron was likely to bring up the issue of the environment, and that the two world leaders would discuss the matter.