Friday, 23 August, 2019

Trump fires back at European leaders after damp reception in France

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Patty Aguilar | 13 November, 2018, 17:17

The leaders of France and Germany were taken for a married couple by an elderly woman as they attended a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I outside Paris.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism". In lieu of appreciation, Macron dismissed our historic commitment by calling for a European-only military to counterbalance both the US and Russian Federation.

Trump was missing from one of the weekend's most powerful images: A line of world leaders, walking shoulder to-shoulder in a somber, rain-soaked procession as the bells marking the exact moment that fighting ended - 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918 - finished tolling.

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

British Prime Minister Theresa May was at the cenotaph in London for the service there, but had attended a ceremony at Thiepval alongside Mr Macron earlier in the week. Putin, who was last to arrive at the ceremony, gave Trump a brief thumb's up as he greeted them.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met for the first time since the Helsinki summit in July.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres meanwhile warned of "parallels" between the present day and the unstable and risky 1930s as he marked the centenary of World War I in a speech at the Paris forum. "[Nationalism is like] saying "our interests first, who cares about the others".

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.

For his part, the head of the United Nations warned during his speech that the world today has several of the ingredients that led to the failure of the peace that followed World War I.

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He then went on to rebuke Trump's nationalistic tendencies.

The Great War killed 10 million soldiers and left millions of women widowed and children orphaned.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on Saturday poignantly visited the forest clearing in northeastern France where the Armistice was signed, had signaled beforehand that they meant to use the Paris ceremony to warn about the modern-day danger of nationalism.

Macron's Sunday remarks followed a Saturday White House cancellation of a planned visit by Trump and the first lady to a U.S. military cemetery in northern France due to rain, a decision that was quickly met with worldwide and domestic scorn.

The Veterans Day speech came a day after Trump was criticized for failing to visit a different American cemetery about 60 miles (100 kilometers) outside of Paris on Saturday because rain grounded the helicopter he had planned to take. Nearly 10 million soldiers died, sometimes tens of thousands on a single day.

"Just returned from France where much was accomplished in my meetings with World Leaders".

Speaking in Paris, the Russian leader told RT television: "Europe is a powerful economic entity, a powerful economic union and it is quite natural that it wants to be independent, self-sufficient and sovereign in matters of defence and security".

The U.S. came late to the war, in April 1917, but over 1½ years it became a key player and tipped the scales for the allies.

With so many leaders in Paris, the commemoration also provoked a flurry of diplomacy on the sidelines, with conflict in Yemen and Syria among the hot-button issues. It was a Serb teenager, Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated the Austro-Hungarian crown prince in Sarajevo in 1914 to set off events which led to the outbreak of war.

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