Donald Trump ignores Emmanuel Macron 'nationalism' dig, honors veterans in France

Aaron Brown
November 13, 2018

Trump was one of dozens of world leaders taking part in events to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

Ceremonies have been held across the world this week in honour of the 18 million soldiers and civilians who perished in World War I.

Elsewhere during the Armistice Day event on Sunday, Macron rebuked nationalism in what could be read as a direct attack on Trump's "America First" agenda.

As the other leaders gathered in the morning, Trump tweeted about the devastating wildfires in California, criticizing local officials for poor forest management.

On Saturday, he and his wife Melania cancelled a trip to Belleau Wood battlefield and cemetery in northern France, citing "scheduling and logistical difficulties" caused by the rainy weather. The feminist activist group Femen later claimed responsibility.

US President Donald Trump, whose hardline nationalism has badly shaken the Western alliance, arrived in Paris criticising host Macron for being 'insulting'.

In the interview, Macron had cited Trump's plans to pull the USA out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty and said a joint European Union force was needed to end Europe's reliance on U.S. military might.

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 U.S. sanctions against Moscow. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was positioned in pride of place between President Trump and Mr Macron, a powerful symbol of victors and vanquished now standing together, shoulder to shoulder.

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Since then, the US has sent National Security Adviser John Bolton for two rounds of talks with Russian officials, but the only deal announced publicly was a vague agreement for the two leaders to meet again next year, possibly in Washington.

National Security Adviser John Bolton had said at one point that Mr. Trump would meet with Putin during the visit. But nationalism has also been associated with movements that led to Word War I and Word War II, including Adolf Hitler and Nazism's German nationalism. You know what I am?

Sitting several seats away was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived at the ceremony separately as well. "We have a lot of problems".

The earlier show of unity among some of the world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe comes at a time of growing tensions between liberals and populists in the European Union, as well as between Europe and the USA, two years into Mr Trump's "America First" presidency.

But Trump did not broach the divide as he paid tribute Sunday to USA and allied soldiers killed in World War I during "a disgusting, frightful war" that marked America's emergence as a world power. President Trump was not among them.

In his opening remarks, Macron said whether the image of the commemoration is a symbol of durable peace between nations, or a picture of a last moment of unity before the world goes down in new disorder, "it depends only on us".

The geographical spread of the leaders in attendance showed how the "war to end all wars" left few corners of the earth untouched but which, little more than two decades later, was followed so quickly and catastrophically by the even deadlier World War Two.

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