France's Macron backs European unity amid US tensions

French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on Europe to unite and exert a self-confident "European sovereignty" in the face of an increasingly complex world and unilateral American moves on issues such as climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.

Macron spoke Thursday after receiving the International Charlemagne Prize, an annual award for contributions to European unity given by the German city of Aachen. German Chancellor Angela Merkel honored him in a speech praising Macron's efforts to reform France and his ambitions to reform the European Union.

Macron urged Europe to defend the global multilateral order, for the sake of the continent's sovereignty. He also said that "we made the choice to build peace and stability in the Middle East," an apparent reference to the Iran deal.