PARIS, July 13 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday expressed his surprise following mounting criticism over participation of his American counterpart Donald Trump at Bastille Day military parade.

Washington remains as Paris "strategic ally", despite of "strong disagreement" over climate change, Macron told reporters.

"I invited President Donald Trump and I'm surprised that it has triggered all that debate and protests... because of the 100th anniversary of U.S. troop's intervention in World War I alongside our forces. We must not forget that our history goes beyond us," Macron said.

"One needs to continue dialogue even with disagreement. I'm in strong conflict with President Trump over climate issue ... But, it's evident and essential to have regular exchanges (with him)," he added.

At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron stressed that Washington remained "a strategic partner of France and Europe", mainly in security issue.

At Macron's invitation, Trump arrived in Paris on Thursday morning for a two-day visit, weeks after U.S. withdrawal from Paris climate accord.

Both leaders will hold a press meeting at 18:15 local time.