Donald Trump joins world leaders in France for WWI Armistice Day commemorations

Donald Trump has asked if anything is better to celebrate than the end of a war as he joins world leaders in France to mark Armistice Day.

Donald Trump has asked if anything is better to celebrate than the end of a war as he joins world leaders in France to mark Armistice Day.

Mr Trump landed amid a row between France and the USA over Emmanuel Macron’s call for a European Army, which dominated their first press conference together at the Elysee Palace.

The pair are also due to discuss trade while Mr Trump is in France, with the US leader saying they will see if they can “get over the line”.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania will visit the American cemetery in Belleau later today to pay their respects to US soldiers who died in France during the First World War.

As he landed, Mr Trump tweeted: “I am in Paris getting ready to celebrate the end of World War One. Is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war, in particular that one, which was one of the bloodiest and worst of all time?”

Despite this year’s Armistice being the centenary year, the events could be dominated by the row between Mr Trump and Mr Macron.

In his first comments after greeting the French leader, Mr Trump said: “We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want.

“We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States.”

Mr Macron has stood by his calls for European defence, and said: “It’s unfair to have European security today being assured by the US.

“That’s why I believe we need more European capacities and more defence to take this part of the burden.”

The two leaders have forged a good relationship, often calling each other a “friend”, but there was a level of tension when they met on Saturday morning.

As the press conference finished, Mr Macron smiled to cameras and placed a hand on Mr Trump’s knee.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also in France, where he paid homage to veterans at a First World War memorial in the north of the country.

He walked among the gravestones at the Canadian Cemetery number 2, where 820 casualties are buried.

Memorial events will be held across the world to mark 100 years to the day since the guns fell silent.

In London, Big Ben will strike even though the clock tower has been undergoing conservation works, and the bell has not been rung.

It will sound 11 times at 11am on Sunday, and a further 11 times at 12.30pm, in time with bells across the UK and worldwide.

The Queen and members of the Royal Family will attend a service of commemoration at the Cenotaph in London.

She will also attend a service at Westminster Abbey, accompanied by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.

She will lay flowers on the grave of the unknown soldier and Prince Charles will read passages from the Bible during the service.

A total of 60 heads of state will convene in Paris on Sunday for a programme of memorial events followed by lunch at the Elysee Palace and the opening session of the Paris Peace Forum.

Two services will take place at the Menin Gate in Ypres.

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