The Macron method

NEW YORK — High above the Atlantic Ocean, Emmanuel Macron is plotting to corner the president of the United States.

The French leader is sitting with his top advisers at a beige, oval table in a boardroom on his presidential plane. Though he usually appears in public in a crisp suit, for the flight he’s dressed casually: dark-wash jeans, a navy blue zip-up hoodie emblazoned with the slogan “La French Tech,” a two-day beard.

It’s the second all-hands meeting of the eight-hour flight to New York City for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly and Macron is plotting how to pull off his most audacious foreign policy move yet — putting U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the same room, to engineer a breakthrough in their two countries’ 40-year conflict.

But in high-stakes diplomacy, like everything else, logistics are key, and Macron’s time in New York will be short.

“Trump is Tuesday?” Macron asks his advisers, referring to his own scheduled encounter with the American leader. “Can we try pulling him up to Monday?”

“No,” answers Emmanuel Bonne, his chief diplomatic adviser. “We already know that he is busy all Monday afternoon.”

“When does he speak at the General Assembly?” Macron shoots back. “We should try to catch him after his speech, that’s when it makes sense.

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