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France

Macron commemorates first Armistice as French president

media French President Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier attend a commemoration ceremony at the World War I Vieil Armand "Hartmannswillerkopf" battlefield in the Alsace region November 10, 2017. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Emmanuel Macron presided over his first 11 November ceremonies, 99 years after the Armistice, which ended the First World War. The commemorations included a visit to the Georges-Clemenceau Museum in Paris.

The head of state began the commemoration by visiting the Georges-Clemenceau Museum, in an apartment on Rue Benjamin-Franklin in the plush 16th district where "Father Victory" lived.

Along with Jean-Noël Jeanneney, president of the Georges-Clemenceau Museum Foundation, he visited the study and library of the man who became prime minister for the second time 100 years ago, in 1917.

Macron then laid a wreath at the foot of the statue of Georges Clemenceau, located at the bottom of the Champs-Elysees. Following this, he was escorted by the Republican Guard to the Arc de Trimomphe at the top of the Champs-Élysées where he reviewed troops from the French army and laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) visit the World War I cemetery at Hartmannswillerkopf (or Hartmannsweilerkopf, Hartmansweiler Head) in Wattwiller, France, November 10, 2017. Reuters/Patrick Seeger/Pool

 Former Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, President of the National Assembly, François de Rugy, and Senate, Gérard Larcher particiaped in the ceremony.

The Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, as well as the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly was also there, as well as the new chief of staff of the armies, General François Lecointre.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Eduoard Philippe will participate in a commemoration in the afternoon Saturday in Rethondes, in the Oise region north of Paris, where the Armistice was signed 99 years ago.

The Elysée is already looking to the commemoration of November 11, 2018,  for the centenary of the armistice, which is likely to include dignitaries from all the countries who were involved in the 1914 – 18 war.

 For these commemorations, Emmanuel Macron will also visit the departments most affected by the war, which are also those that have been most affected by the economic crisis in recent years.

 Earlier on Friday, the President of the Republic , along with , with the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, went to Alsace to inaugurate the Franco-German Historial of the Hartmannswillerkopf, a museum located on the "man-eating mountain", one of the bloodiest battlefields of the First World War.

   The foundation of a united Europe is the best answer to the "absurdity" of the war, said the French and German Presidents in particular at the opening.

 
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