World leaders in Paris mark 100th anniversary of WW1 Armistice


World leaders in Paris mark 100th anniversary of WW1 Armistice
British troops advance during the battle of the Somme in this 1916 handout picture. This picture is part of a previously unpublished set of World War One (WWI) images from a private collection. The pictures offer an unusual view of varied and contrasting aspects of the conflict, from high tech artillery to mobile pigeon lofts, and from officers partying in their headquarters to the grim reality of life and death in the trenches. The year 2014 marks the centenary of the start of the war. REUTERS/Archive of Modern Conflict London/Handout via REUTERS. (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY) ATTENTION EDITORS - PICTURE 23 OF 40 FOR PACKAGE 'WWI - GUNS, GAS MASKS AND PIGEONS' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'GAS MASKS AND PIGEONS' ATTENTION EDITORS - NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

In Summary

  • President Macron will be joined by some 70 world leaders on Sunday to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice that brought World War One to an end.
  • It was at 11.00 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, that the guns fell silent across the western front, heralding the end of a four-year conflict that claimed the lives of 10 million combatants and millions of civilians.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are among the dozens of monarchs, heads of state and government due to attend the ceremony, before lunch with Macron at the Elysee Palace.

French President Emmanuel Macron will be joined by some 70 world leaders on Sunday to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice that brought World War One to an end, and to honor the millions of soldiers who died in the conflict.

It was at 11.00 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, that the guns fell silent across the western front, heralding the end of a four-year conflict that claimed the lives of 10 million combatants and millions of civilians.

One hundred years later, Macron will pay tribute to those soldiers and their families in an address delivered at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, built by Emperor Napoleon in 1806, where an unknown soldier killed in the Great War is buried.

 U.S. President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are among the dozens of monarchs, heads of state and government due to attend the ceremony, before lunch with Macron at the Elysee Palace.

In a rare public display of emotion by the leaders of two world powers, Macron and Merkel held hands on Saturday during a poignant ceremony in the Compiegne Forest, north of Paris, where French and German delegations signed the Armistice that ended the war.

Testimonies written by soldiers on Nov. 11, 1918, as the ceasefire took hold, will be read at Sunday’s event by high school students in French, English and German.

 The conflict was one of the bloodiest in history, reshaping Europe’s politics and demographics. Peace, however, was short-lived and two decades later Nazi Germany invaded its neighbors.

On Sunday afternoon, Macron will host the inaugural Paris Peace Forum, which seeks to promote a multilateral approach to security and governance and ultimately avoid the errors that led to the outbreak of World War One.

Merkel said in a statement 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, who champions a nationalist ‘America first’ policy, will not attend the forum.

The U.S. leader has said he will also not hold a bilateral meeting with Putin in Paris. Trump and Putin are expected to have formal talks later this month when both attend a G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Should the two leaders chat briefly during Sunday’s events, their body language will be closely scrutinized.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and any possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

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