World leaders gather in Paris to mark First World War centenary | World | Ammon News


World leaders gather in Paris to mark First World War centenary


[11/11/2018 4:44:25 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Around 70 world leaders gathered at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris at precisely 10:00GMT, to mark the moment 100 years ago when First World War ended.

France, the epicentre of the first global conflict, is hosting the main international commemoration on Sunday, which will press home a message of peace and hope for the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron is joined by an array of leaders, including US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Testimonies written by soldiers on Nov. 11, 1918, as the ceasefire took hold, will be read at the event, which will also feature warnings about the modern-day danger of nationalism.

With far-right nationalist politicians coming to power from Brazil to Italy to Austria, 40-year-old centrist Macron is set to invoke the war to make the case for international cooperation.

"We want to make these commemorations a time to reflect on the present, not just the past, so that they have a meaning for us today," an aide to Macron said earlier this week.

At a dinner on Saturday night with the visiting presidents and prime ministers, Macron said: "Some of us were on opposite sides at the time [of the war], and we are reunited tonight. That is the greatest homage we can pay."

The First World War erupted in 1914 after a teenage Bosnian Serb assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, igniting a conflict that was contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars".

In the four years of fighting, remembered for brutal trench warfare and the first use of gas, France, the British empire, Russia and the United States had the main armies opposing a German-led coalition that also included the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

More than 70 million military personnel were mobilised and an estimated 10 million lost their lives.

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