WATCH Anti-Trump Balloon Fly over Paris for Presidential Remembrance Day Visit

Leroy Wright
November 12, 2018

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.

The two leaders nodded, with Putin tapping his U.S. counterpart on the shoulder and giving him a thumbs up.

Trump, a self-proclaimed unapologetic nationalist and advocate of the "America First" agenda, was reportedly unimpressed, awarding Macron with just a few weak claps.

Macron said "nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism".

What started with the French president saying that nationalist leaders threaten to erase a nation's moral values by putting their own interests first regardless of the effects on others, ended with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying voters will turn for easy answers and scapegoats.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has criticised French leader Emmanuel Macron's speech at an Armistice celebration in Paris, saying he failed to recognise all countries that fought in the war 100 years ago.

Around 10 million soldiers are estimated to have been killed during the fighting and more than double that number wounded.

To the sound of a military brass band, Macron inspected French troops standing at attention and a choir sang the national anthem.

"It is our deeply rooted obligation to think of the future, and to consider what is essential", Macron said.

RIA Novosti reported Putin as replying in the affirmative when asked if he was able to talk with Trump in a meeting at the Élysée Palace with other foreign leaders.

The president cited a letter written by Sgt. Paul Maynard days before the war's final battle.

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Al-Falih last month said there could be a need for intervention to reduce oil stockpiles after increases in recent months.

But Trump was terse during some of his private conversations with world leaders, according to people with direct knowledge of his visit.

Over Britanny lobster and Bresse chicken, Trump, Putin, Macron and Gutteres, sitting next to each other, were able to have a "rich, free-flowing discussion" about hot issues such as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, the Elysee said.

Around 70 leaders including USA and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin marked the centenary of the 1918 Armistice in the French capital at 11am local time (1000 GMT).

Around 1,500 anti-Trump protesters held a demonstration at Republique square in eastern Paris on Sunday, at which the giant "Baby Blimp" balloon depicting Trump as an infant was flown, following previous appearances in London and NY.

"We are ready for dialogue", said Putin, adding a dig at the Trump Administration for announcing the United States would exit a landmark Cold War arms treaty. There, he will deliver Veterans Day comments before returning to Washington. "You make us very proud", Trump said. "You're very smart people!"

Sunday's speeches were part of a string of events to commemorate the signing of an armistice on November 11, 1918 to end World War I. Millions of soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what became known as the Great War, and as many more were injured.

The Nov. 11 events were the culmination for Macron of a week of commemorations of the war, one of the bloodiest in history and one that reshaped Europe's politics and demographics.

Some 117,000 American military personnel died in World War I. They were sat on the front row of the service at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees, paying tribute to the millions who died during the four-year conflict.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump, who wore a cornflower - France´s war remembrance flower - in his lapel, had arrived separately "due to security protocols".

Trump did engage with his fellow leaders, attending a group welcome dinner hosted by Macron at the Musée d'Orsay on Saturday night and a lunch today.

"Most of the challenges today can not be solved by one nation alone, but together".

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