Putin chats with Trump, Macron thrashes nationalism at WWI centenary in Paris

Cheryl Sanders
November 12, 2018

"By saying our interests come first and others don't matter we are erasing what makes a nation precious, what makes it live, what makes it great and most importantly of all, its moral values".

French President Emmanuel Macron and other heads of governments, including U.S. President Donald Trump, appeared at the moment combat stopped on November 11, 1918.

Without referring to Donald Trump by name, all three of them on Sunday railed against the USA president's world view and the dangers of disregarding global norms as they spoke at the start of the Paris Peace Forum in the French capital.

"When people feel their institutions can't protect them, they look for easy answers in populism, in nationalism, in closing borders, in shutting down trade, in xenophobia".

Putin said he and Trump decided "not to interrupt the schedule" of the World War I events with a separate meeting.

Later on Sunday, Trump was scheduled to visit the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in the suburbs of Paris, where he will deliver Veterans Day remarks before returning to Washington.

Macron said he believes in cooperation between different peoples and opposed nationalists sometimes adopting a unilateral approach and "the law of the strongest".

"The old demons are rising again, ready to complete their task of chaos and of death", Macron said, according to the Associated Press.

In July, world leaders had been lashed out by Mr Trump for not meeting the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending target, amounting to 2 percent of each country's GDP, and leaving to the U.S. the burden to support much of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expenses.

As Trump's motorcade was making its solo trip down the grand Champs-Élysées, which was closed to traffic, at least one topless woman breached tight security, running into the street and shouting "fake peace maker" as the cars passed.

"There is a general sense and desire among many countries, including Canada to do whatever is possible to sustain the institutions of the worldwide order and practical, multilateral co-operation".

Earlier, in one of the day's high points, Macron and Merkel unveiled a plaque to Franco-German reconciliation in a forest clearing in northeast France where the armistice ending WWI was signed.

A huge balloon depicting Donald Trump as a baby wearing a diaper and holding a smartphone has once again been raised in the air by protesting activists - this time, in Paris, where the US President arrived for Remembrance Day.

During the ceremony Sunday, Macron sat with Angela Merkel on his immediate right, with Trump just beyond the German Chancellor.

Macron's speech was full of literary allusions, including to the French poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Charles Péguy, both of whom served in World War I.

"Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism", he said.

Trudeau has had to navigate the mercurial American president, and talked pointedly about him on Sunday afternoon, but never mentioned Trump by name, as he is prone to do.

Although the White House chalked up the differences in schedules to "security concerns", as CNN reported, the effect seemed to set Trump apart from his colleagues, but he's not alone in being alienated by Macron, who also took jab at the UK's Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The pair are in Paris, France, to mark 100 years since the armistice that ended World War I.

France-and Macron-are taking the lead to empower a global "resistance" of multilateralists hoping to salvage, or rebuild, a dwindling rules-based order.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said worldwide cooperation is the only way to avert global crises and war, in the inauguration speech of the Paris Peace Forum, just hours after she and French President Emmanuel Macron marked 100 years since the end of World War I.

Other reports by iNewsToday