Published: Tue, November 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Armistice Day: Macron's rebuke to Trump at WWI remembrance

Armistice Day: Macron's rebuke to Trump at WWI remembrance

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in Paris on Sunday. "Pay for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or not!" he added.

This is not the first attack launched against Mr Macron's proposal by Mr Trump.

Macron also took aim at Trump at the earlier ceremony on Sunday, saying, "Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism". Trump has proudly claimed his pride in being a "nationalist" versus being a "globalist", which charitably suggests that Trump's understanding of the term is not in line with the rest of the world's.

The president, who traveled to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of that conflict tweeted: 'By the way, when the helicopter couldn't fly to the first cemetery in France because of nearly zero visibility, I suggested driving.

Both leaders agree there should be "better burden-sharing within Nato", meaning Europe should be less reliant on United States spending for its defence, Macron said.

Among the dozens of world leaders in attendance were President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He called it a "betrayal of patriotism" and warned against "old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death".

More than 116,000 Americans lost their lives and more than 1 million were wounded in World War I. Trump described the final battle of the war as the single deadliest in USA history.

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The president added that "The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of nearly 10%".

In his speech Macron said "what is important for the future is the way this image will be interpreted": As the "symbol of durable peace between nations" or as "a picture of a last moment of unity before the world goes down in new disorder".

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.

"We are getting along from the standpoint of fairness, and to be fair, we want to help Europe, but it has to be fair", Mr. Trump said when a French reporter asked about the perceived insult.

Three topless protesters from radical feminist movement Femen were arrested trying to reach Trump's motorcade, although French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said his security had "in no way been threatened". Macron later clarified his comments about protecting Europe from the USA, saying they mainly focused on cyber crime and building domestic defense industries that didn't need to buy or invest in U.S. arms. By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values.

France was the epicentre of the first global conflict.

On Saturday, Trump drew criticism for canceling a separate commemorative visit to the Belleau Wood battleground northeast of Paris because of rain.

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