World leaders in Paris warn world peace under threat

12 November, 2018, 05:48 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • US President Donald Trump is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron as he arrives for bilateral talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Mr Trump is due to visit a different cemetery on Sunday.

French President Emmanuel Macron looks on after delivering his speech.

Some 70 world leaders gathered under rainy skies at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday for a solemn ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

Macron didn't mention Trump or the United States by name in his remarks, and his message was likely meant for several world leaders in the audience and listeners worldwide, given the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe.

"The lesson of the Great War can not be that of resentment between peoples, nor should the past be forgotten", said Macron, sorrow etched on the faces of former French soldiers standing to attention around him.

At the forum German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against taking peace for granted, saying, "We have to work for it".

In a dinner late on November 10 with numerous visiting leaders, Macron warned against taking peace for granted.

He visited an American cemetery outside Paris at precisely the moment that Macron, Merkel and other dignitaries were opening a peace forum where the French leader again sounded the alarm about crumbling worldwide harmony as he ruminated about the legacy of the morning's commemorations.

In the four years of fighting, remembered for brutal trench warfare and the first use of gas, France, the British empire, Russian Federation and the United States had the main armies opposing a German-led coalition that also included the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

But the day's symbolism couldn't have been starker.

Around 47 heads of states, 23 governments' heads and 15 worldwide institutions' chairs walked towards Arc de Triomphe and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located at the base of the arc on the famous Champs-Elysees Avenue. She had slogans, including the words "Fake" and "Peace", written on her chest. The Femen group claimed responsibility.

Trump is not expected to attend the forum ceremony, although Putin is. Trump responded with a wide smile. The meeting came soon after Donald Trump arrived in Paris and criticized his host via Twitter, calling Macron's support for a European military force "very insulting".

National Security Adviser John Bolton had said at one point that Mr. Trump would meet with Putin during the visit.

But Mr. Trump, a leader who has proudly declared himself a "nationalist" and advocated an "America First" approach, stood out at a memorial ceremony that focused on worldwide cooperation. He has slapped tariffs on the European Union, pulled the USA out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal and suggested he might be willing to pull the US out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation if member counties don't significantly boost their defense spending. Trump's eagerness to get along with the Russian leader - in spite of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and numerous other aggressive moves in recent years - has alarmed those who view Russia as a growing threat.

Trump has also repeatedly branded himself a "nationalist", despite criticism from some that the term has negative connotations. At a news conference last week, Mr. Trump defended his use of the phrase. And you know what?

'I always prefer having direct discussion or answering questions (than) making my diplomacy through tweets, ' Macron said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. You have globalists. I also love the world and I don't mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first.



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