Putin says had good conversation with Trump in Paris

‘Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,’ says France’s Emmanuel Macron at World War I commemoration

Standing in a Paris drizzle just feet from leaders including Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Macron used the culmination of a ceremony commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I to champion the work of global institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations.

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

Merkel and Macron have emerged as the leading defenders of the multilateral institutions created at the end of World War II, while Trump, who embraces what he calls "America First" policies, pronounced at the United Nations in September that he's a "nationalist" who rejects globalism. Around him, sorrow etched on their faces, former French soldiers stood rigidly to attention.

The commemoration marked the centrepiece of tributes to honour those who died during the 1914-18 war and to commemorate the signing of the Armistice that brought the fighting to an end at exactly 11 am on 11 November, 1918. I love our country", he said, adding: "You have nationalists.

They will receive maximum personal protection as they accompany French president Emmanuel Macron to the Arc de Triomphe.

Sitting several seats away was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived at the ceremony separately as well.

The French-born Chinese-American cellist Yo-yo Ma gave a performance, so did West African singer Angelique Kidjo, and a European youth orchestra with a Russian conductor.

After the ceremony, leaders returned to the Elysee Palace for a lunch hosted by Macron and his wife Brigitte.

Macron had angered Trump by saying Europe needed its own army and listing the USA along with Russian Federation and China as a threat to European security. "They agreed they had a great deal to discuss, including the INF Treaty". Other topics, in addition to the ones listed by the French, were trade, sanctions, Afghanistan and China, she said.

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On Friday night, French TV host Yann Barthès aired a short clip of Trump on his "Quotidien" show, showing the president making amusing faces and doing silly voices.

President Trump lives by an "America First" credo, and plans to visit the American cemetery at Suresnes on the outskirts of Paris before heading home. He pulled out of a similar ceremony east of Paris on Saturday due to the weather.

When they parted they told each other "until we meet again", Peskov said.

Meanwhile, across the English Channel, royals and senior politicians gathered with veterans and members of the public at the Cenotaph in central London for Sunday's remembrance service.

This was to mark a hundred years since the end of World War I. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, President Trump seemed out of step with the very multilateral tone of the commemorations.

Those who fought in the trenches of the war lived through an unimaginable hell, Macron said in a 20-minute address on Sunday. "History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again".

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 global harmony as he ruminated about the legacy of the morning's commemorations.

"Let us build our hopes rather than playing our fears against each other", he said.

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