Thu, 23 May 2019

Dozens of world leaders are attending a ceremony in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that brought an end to World War I.

Guns fell silent on November 11, 1918, ending the four-year war that killed at least 10 million soldiers and millions of civilians.

French President Emmanuel Macron and some 70 heads of state and government -- including U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- gathered under steady rain at the Arc de Triomphe, where an unknown soldier killed in the war is buried.

As Trump's convoy was making its way up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, a bare-breasted protester ran toward his motorcade before being apprehended by police.

Photographs of the incident appeared to show that she had the words 'fake peacemaker' written on her body.

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

'Some of us were on opposite sides at the time [of WWI], and we are reunited tonight. That is the greatest homage we can pay' to the fallen soldiers," he said.

Macron on November 11 will also host the first Paris Peace Forum, which seeks to promote a multilateral approach to security and governance.

SEE ALSO: World War I: Scenes Of Life And Death

Merkel said the forum showed that 'today there is a will, and I say this on behalf of Germany with full conviction, to do everything to bring a more peaceful order to the world, even though we know we still have much work to do.'

Trump is not expected to attend the forum ceremony, although Putin is.

Trump has said he will not hold a bilateral summit with Putin in Paris, with the White House saying he did not want to overshadow the WWI ceremonies.

They are likely to meet at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires later in the month.

With reporting by AP and AFP


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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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