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

US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Orly airport outside Paris

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French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting some 70 world leaders in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that brought an end to World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Sunday, Macron rebuked nationalism in perhaps another dig at Trump who has been vocal about his "America First" agenda.

The US president said he and other officials were "gathered at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to courageous Americans" who died a century ago, as well as to the French troops with whom they fought.

Populism and nationalism are gaining in popularity, while countries are putting up barriers against globalization, she said. "Nationalism is rising across Europe, the nationalism that demands the closing of frontiers, which preaches rejection of the other", Macron said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

"By pursuing our own interests first, with no regard to others', we erase the very thing that a nation holds most precious, that which gives it life and makes it great: its moral values".

Trump watched on as the French president added: 'I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death.

"History sometimes threatens to repeat its tragic patterns, and undermine the legacy of peace we thought we had sealed with the blood of our ancestors", he said.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also participated in armistice events outside the city today, at a battle site about two hours north of Paris by auto. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was positioned in pride of place between Trump and Macron, an eloquent symbol of victors and vanquished now standing together, shoulder to shoulder. The White House said Trump missed the event due to the rainy weather, a decision that overshadowed much of Trump's visit to France. The woman was tackled by police and the motorcade continued uninterrupted.

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The United States came late to the war; its first troops deployed to France in late 1917.

At the forum German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against taking peace for granted, saying, "We have to work for it". The cost of securing Europe is a reliable bête noire for Trump, one he's railed against on the campaign trail and in meetings with his counterparts.

The president also was to attend a leaders' lunch hosted by Macron.

"We want to help Europe but it has to be fair". During a morning meeting with Macron at the Élysée Palace, the effusive expressions of bonhomie that once colored the two men's relationship were gone, replaced by wooden expressions of cooperation.

Trump has been criticized for failing to visit a different American cemetery about 60 miles (100 kilometers) outside of Paris Saturday.

White House officials later explained that low cloud would have prevented his helicopter from landing, and cited security concerns about arranging a motorcade to the site.

Others noted that Trump smiled warmly at Putin, while Macron and Merkel greeted the Russian president with a more stony expression.

The US president is scheduled to take part in a ceremony at the Suresnes American Cemetery to the west of Paris on Sunday afternoon, when he is expected to make formal remarks.

As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and dozens of other heads of state and government listened in silence, French President Emmanuel Macron used the occasion, as its host, to sound a powerful and sobering warning about the fragility of peace and the dangers of nationalism and of nations that put themselves first, above the collective good.

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