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World War Peace WW1 Centennial Commemoration

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Trump dodges rain as Macron and Merkel commemorate WW1 dead

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La tombe du Soldat inconnu sous l'Arc de Triomphe à Paris, le 7 novembre 2018, à quelques jours des commémoration de la Première Guerre mondiale. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel marked on Saturday the centenary of the end of the First World War in a special ceremony at Compiègne, a commune in the Oise department in northern France.


On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, an initial agreement to end four years of one of the world's deadliest conflicts was signed by the Allies and Germany in a train carriage in a forest clearing in Compiègne , from where the two leaders on Saturday held a symbolic repeat signing ceremony.

Merkel and Macron were then due to watch as the French and German militaries hold a joint march to remember the 1.4 million French and 2 million German soldiers killed in the 1914-1918 war.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, after a solemn commemoration at the Arc de Triomphe to honor the armistice centenary, the US president, Donald, Trump is scheduled to visit an American cemetery at Suresnes, on the western outskirts of the capital, where he will make formal remarks.

Some 70 leaders will also gather at 11 am Sunday at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Earlier, on Saturday , US President Donald Trump, called off a trip to a World War I US military cemetery in France because of bad weather, the White House said.

After talks with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Trump cancelled his visit to Belleau Wood battlefield and cemetery 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Paris because of "scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather," his administration said.

He and his wife Melania were to have flown to the site of a 1918 battle led by US Marines against German forces.

A US delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will visit the cemetery instead, the White House added.

The WWI commemorations come at a watershed moment for the liberal post-war order, with anti-immigration populists at the helm in the US and Brazil, sharing power in Italy, and making strong gains in Germany, prompting Merkel to announce she is bowing out in 2021.

Macron met British Prime Minister Theresa May near the Belgian border Friday to try to make progress on a Brexit deal and remember the fallen on the battlefields of the Somme.