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Armistice Day: Macron urges world leaders to reject nationalism

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Media captionPresident Trump and President Putin were among the leaders at the ceremony in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged world leaders marking the centenary of the World War One Armistice to reject nationalism.

Addressing leaders in Paris - including US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin - he described it as a "betrayal of patriotism".

"By saying 'our interests first and never mind the others' you stamp out the most precious thing a nation has - its moral values," he said.

Events are taking place worldwide.

Some 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians died in World War One from 1914 to 1918.

Several world leaders also held bilateral meetings at the events. Mr Putin told journalists he had a brief conversation with Mr Trump and that it went well.

However, the French organisers of the lunch event changed the lunchtime seating arrangement at the last minute so Mr Trump and Mr Putin would not be sitting next to each other, Russian media reported.

What happened in Paris?

Mr Macron and dignitaries walked to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a memorial to France's fallen under the Arc de Triomphe, in the rain under black umbrellas as church bells tolled through the city.

In a speech lasting nearly 20 minutes, the French leader called on fellow leaders to "fight for peace".

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Image caption Mr Macron urged leaders to "fight for peace"

"Ruining this hope with a fascination for withdrawal, violence or domination would be a mistake for which future generations would rightly find us responsible," he said.

The service ended with the bugle call that was played at 11:00 on 11 November 1918 to signal the end of hostilities.

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Image caption Mr Putin is also in Paris

On Sunday afternoon Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a peace conference - the Paris Peace Forum - with leaders including Mr Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mrs Merkel warned that "blinkered" nationalism was gaining ground in Europe and elsewhere.

On Saturday Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel visited the town of Compiègne, north of Paris. They signed a book of remembrance in a railway carriage identical to the one in which the 1918 Armistice was sealed.

What has Trump been doing?

Mr Trump did not attend the peace conference and left for the US shortly after it began.

Earlier he visited a cemetery in Suresnes in western Paris, saying he had gone there "to pay tribute to brave Americans" who died in the war.

He caused controversy on Saturday by cancelling a trip to another cemetery for the war dead because of bad weather.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protesters from the feminist group Femen also held up placards in front of the Arc de Triomphe before being led away

Earlier on Sunday, just before the leaders assembled, a topless female protester with the words "fake peacemaker" written on her chest came within a few metres of the US president's motorcade before being apprehended.

A group of about 50 activist groups plan to hold a protest in Paris against his visit later.

What events took place elsewhere?

A ceremony was held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, while in Adelaide an aircraft dropped thousands of red paper poppies.

During his speech in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke of the importance of remembrance, saying people need "to learn from the past so that we can better navigate the changing currents of our own times".

In New Zealand, a gun salute took place in the capital, Wellington.

And in India, memorials were held for the 74,000 troops who died fighting on the other side of the world.

"This was a war in which India was not directly involved, yet our soldiers fought world-over, just for the cause of peace," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Sunday.

Meanwhile in the UK, a series of special events is being held to mark the end of the 1914-18 conflict.

For the first time, members of the public chosen by ballot paid their respects at the national memorial in Whitehall, central London.

The Armistice 100 years on

Image copyright AFP

Long read: The forgotten female soldier on the forgotten frontline

Video: War footage brought alive in colour

Interactive: What would you have done between 1914 and 1918?

Living history: Why 'indecent' Armistice Day parties ended

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Image caption Crowds turned out for the ceremony in Canberra, Australia
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Paper poppies fell from a plane over Adelaide
Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Silence was observed at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, New Zealand
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tracey (L) and Katherine Meeten, dressed as nurses, look at crosses in the Fields of Remembrance in Auckland, New Zealand

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