French President Emmanuel Macron sits at his desk after addressing the French nation following a massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, at Elysee Palace in Paris, April 16 2019.
French President Emmanuel Macron sits at his desk after addressing the French nation following a massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, at Elysee Palace in Paris, April 16 2019.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that having good relations with Germany should not mean that the two nations must always see eye to eye and that disagreements with Germany's Angela Merkel over Brexit and relations with the United States were necessary.

"This compromise culture is very important, and I learned a lot on that from Chancellor Merkel," Macron told reporters in a news conference. 

"But it should not prevent the affirmation of a [distinct] French position when there is one," he said, adding that "fruitful confrontation" was sometimes necessary to build compromise. 

"So, yes, on Brexit, we're not exactly on the same line," he said. "On climate and energy policies, we're not exactly on the same line."