Centenary of End of WWI Marked with Paris Ceremony

Frederick Owens
November 12, 2018

At an event to honor the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, French President Emanuel Macron lashed out at President Donald Trump, devoting his speech at a veterans' memorial to fire back at Trump's "America First" foreign policy.

In a speech at the Arc de Triomphe, French President Emmanuel Macron took aim at the style of nationalism that has been embraced by President Trump, warning a crowd of dignitaries and heads of state about how the splintering of multilateral institutions led to the first World War, and now threaten to divide the world once again.

But neither he nor Russian President Vladimir Putin joined other leaders in a symbolic walk up the Champs-Elysees to the monument. A feminist activist group, Femen, later claimed responsibility for the stunt.

Other attendees of the memorial service and Forum included Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Canadian premier Justin Trudeau and Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu, as well as Putin.

Solemn ceremonies took place around the world Sunday to mark 100 years to the day since the guns fell silent, marking the end of World War I.

"Ruining this hope with a fascination for withdrawal, violence or domination would be a mistake for which future generations would rightly find us responsible", Macron told them.

French President Emmanuel Macron is no fan of President Trump's style of Twitter diplomacy.

In his remarks at the cemetery, Trump said, "The American and French patriots of World War I embody the timeless virtues of our two republics". "When we say "our interests come first, those of others don't matter", we erase the very thing that a nation holds most precious, that which gives it life and makes it great: its moral values".

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"They had arrived a few minutes late, missing the exact moment - 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918 - that four years of fighting ended", the Associated Press reported. But, despite the U.S. president branded "very insulting" his French counterpart's proposal, Mr Macron doubled down on it, arguing European allies should buy European-made materials for their defence rather than rely on the USA for them.

President Donald Trump paid tribute to USA and allied soldiers killed in World War I during what he called "a frightful, terrible war" that marked America's emergence as a world power. Only Britain was missing among the first-rank representatives of the wartime powers.

The source also said that president Trump has called for a new agreement to ensure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

After the ceremony, Merkel and UN Secretary-General Guterres gave the opening speeches at a new peace forum in Paris set up by Macron - with both warning that rising nationalism threatens the rules-based worldwide order. "That's why we have to stand up for this kind of collaboration", Merkel said. Trump didn't seem too happy to see Macron on his visit to Paris.

The Russian President then greeted both Trump and his wife Melania with handshakes, under the scrutinizing gazes of the other world leaders.

"Mr Hate, Leave Europe", read one banner at the protest.

On Saturday, President Trump skipped a visit to a World War I cemetery, citing the weather; Marine One will not fly in windy, rainy conditions, and the kind of motorcade necessary to transport the president some 50 miles outside of Paris could not be organized in time.

Expectations have been growing for a new Trump-Putin meeting as tensions pile up over the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and United States sanctions against Moscow.

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