The moment Air Force One touched down Friday at Orly airport, U.S. President Donald Trump blasted a caustic message for his host, terming French President Emmanuel Macron's call for a European military "very insulting".
He planned to meet Mr Macron on Saturday for talks on topics expected to include European security, Syria and Iran.
"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America", Macron argued.
Donald Trump didn't waste any time in taking a swipe at the French president.
Trump is scheduled to visit two American cemeteries over the course of the weekend, which will culminate with a solemn ceremony Sunday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe, a monument to France's war dead.
"It should be a very handsome period of time, the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I".
Earlier leaving for Paris, the US President told reporters at the White House that it will be a "great, really, commemorative service".
"I think it will be something very, very special", he said.
Mr Trump ordered the Pentagon to come up with plans for his own version, but they were eventually scrapped over concerns about costs and the damage tanks weighing many tons would do to the streets in Washington.
He will attend the Paris Peace Forum being held to commemorate the centenary of the end to the First World War.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has embarked on a three-day visit to France on Friday.
Not on Mr Trump's schedule, despite earlier discussions about the possibility, was an extended meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "There may be a lunch for the leaders". Political and military analysts question whether European countries have the will, money or materiel to replace the raw power of the United States.
Macron told Europe 1 radio that the "main victim" of the USA withdrawal from the INF accord was Europe and its security.
Emmanuel Macron initially tried to position himself as a sort of "Trump whisperer".
Ending uncertainty about whether the U.S. leader would participate, chief organiser Justin Vaisse confirmed to AFP on Thursday that Trump would not attend.
As president, Trump has repeatedly chastised North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for failing to spend more on defence, and has suggested that the USA was growing disinterested in "paying for Europe's protection" any longer.
On Tuesday, Macron took to French radio to express the need for Europe to reduce its reliance on an increasingly isolationist USA for defence.
European leaders have been rattled since a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit earlier in the year, when they perceived Trump's demands for billions of additional dollars in military spending from them as a threat that the United States would pull out of the almost 70-year-old alliance.
The rationale behind the idea of creating a European army, which has been floated repeatedly through the years but has yet to materialize, is to lessen Europe's dependence on the whims of the United States politicians, Macron indicated.
Trump and Macron also have extensive differences over trade and US sanctions on Iran.
The dividends of Macron's cultivation of Trump are "modest at best", said Stewart M. Patrick, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.