World leaders arrive late to Armistice Day commemorations in Paris

A cemetery employee cleans the cross Friday of an American serviceman killed during World War I ahead of centenary events at the American Cemetery in Suresnes

Trump, who champions a nationalist "America first" policy, will not attend the forum but Putin is expected to.

Trump has recently brushed off criticism over identifying himself as a "nationalist", arguing that it's merely him advocating for putting "America first" in the actions he takes as president. "In saying "our interests first and who care about the others" we erase what a nation has that's most precious, what makes it live, what is most important: its moral values".

"It is our deeply rooted obligation to think of the future, and to consider what is essential".

The Veterans Day speech came a day after Mr. Trump was criticized for failing to visit a different American cemetery about 60 miles outside of Paris Saturday because rain grounded the helicopter he had planned to take.

A hundred years to the day since the guns fell silent, marking the end of World War I, dozens of world leaders will take part in a solemn ceremony in France to remember the many who gave their lives between 1914 and 1918.

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among those in Paris for the commemorations, which coincide with Veterans Day in the United States.

The signing of the armistice is commemorated in the United States on November 11 as Veterans Day.

"We are gathered together at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to the courageous Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle", Trump said at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in the suburbs of Paris, where more than 1,500 Americans who died in the war are buried.

Trump thanked Macron in a tweet for the "beautiful ceremony" before heading to the USA military cemetery at Suresnes, west of Paris to pay tribute to America's war dead. "So there are no concrete agreements at the moment, we can not say anything with certainty", Peskov told Rossiya 1 broadcaster.

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French officials, however, say - without elaborating - there was a misunderstanding by Trump about Macron's comments, noting the USA president told his French counterpart in their Saturday meeting: "I think we are much closer than it seems". "I do defend my people, I do defend my country, I do believe we have a strong identity", Macron said.

More than 116,000 Americans lost their lives and more than 1 million were wounded in World War I. Trump described the final battle of the war as the single deadliest in USA history.

"As I see it, several elements today have many parallels with both the start of the twentieth century and the 1930s, giving us grounds to fear that an unpredictable chain of events could ensue", Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, said. Some 2,289 others are buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery next to Belleau Wood. "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".

For European observers, the commemoration was a somber event - and not exclusively because of the dead it honoured.

"The old demons are rising again, ready to complete their task of chaos and of death", Macron said, according to the Associated Press.

In a dinner late on November 10 with numerous visiting leaders, Macron warned against taking peace for granted.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader and Trump greeted each other during lunch in Paris but had no opportunity to have a full-blown meeting.

"Most of the challenges today can not be solved by one nation alone, but together".

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