World leaders gather in Paris a century after WWI armistice

Trump rips Macron call for unified European military

They've been working together so well, a 100-year-old woman thought they were married.

A balloon depicting the US President Donald Trump wearing a diaper, flies over the heads of people protesting against the US leader at the Place de la Republique in central Paris.

When the woman asked Merkel a second time if she was Mrs Macron, Merkel leaned in and said into her ear in French: "Je suis chancelière allemand", while Macron looked on bemused.

"I want to speak of my concerns that are mixed in with today's commemoration, the concern that national blinders are spreading again, that actions are taken as if to simply ignore our mutual dependencies, relationships and binding ties", Merkel told the forum. The woman smiled, saying "It's fantastic" as the clip ended.

The U.S. president was also planning to skip the Peace Forum his host was organizing later on Sunday.

Besides France, conservative nationalist or populist movements are on the rise or now have a stake in power in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Austria and Slovenia, among others.

Ceremonies have been held across the world this week in honour of the 18 million soldiers and civilians who perished in World War I.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday slammed his French counterpart's call for a unified European military to protect against global threats.

This spat has been compounded by USA pullouts from worldwide deals such as the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal and, potentially, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The centenary of the Armistice is also being marked elsewhere in Europe.

Macron and Trump at their meeting at the Elysee presidential palace downplayed their divisions after a tumultuous start to the weekend, which saw Trump fire off a tweet slamming Macron's proposals for a European army just as his plane was touching down in Paris.

Trump described himself and Macron as "very good friends" and expressed support for "a strong Europe".

In a radio interview this week, Macron had named the United States alongside China and Russian Federation as sources of risk.

Trump, meanwhile, flew home to the US on Sunday after addressing a crowd at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial on the outskirts of Paris.

Whether the US and Russian presidents would meet on the sidelines of the ceremonies commemorating the end of World War I had been a subject of speculation in the lead-up to Sunday's events. "That is the greatest homage we can pay" to the fallen soldiers", he said. Trump tweeted minutes after his plane touched down in France.

(FromL) Spain's King Felipe VI, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite, Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Morocco's Prince Moulay Hassan, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2018 to attend a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the 11 November 1918 armistice, ending World War I.

There was no immediate response from either the White House or the Kremlin to Macron's comments.

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