06:26 GMT +311 December 2018
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    French President Emmanuel Macron, right, holds the hands of German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a ceremony in Compiegne, north of Paris, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

    World Leaders Ready to Mark 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day in Paris

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    Dozens of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and POTUS Donald Trump, have joined their French counterpart Emmanuel Macron for WWI commemorations in Paris.

    About 70 heads of states paid a weekend visit to the French capital for events commemorating the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, and all are expected to attend the main ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe on 11 November. 

    READ MORE: 'Umbrellas Are Hard:' Trump Shamed Over Skipping WWI Cemetery Visit in France

    The ceremony's start time will symbolically mark the very hour – 11 a.m. local time (10:00 GMT) on 11 November 1918 – when the guns fell silent, with the Treaty of Versailles bringing the four-year-long war to an end.

    Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
    © Sputnik / Irina Kalashnikova
    Some 10,000 police officers have been deployed to the site to boost security in the city: just days before the historic events French law enforcement detained a handful of suspects plotting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron.

    On the eve of the main ceremony, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a solemn ceremony at Compiègne in eastern France to mark the centenary of the armistice's signing.

    It was the first time since 1940 that leaders from the two countries had met at the historic site, where Germany officially surrendered in 1918.

    As the French and German national anthems were played, Merkel and Macron held hands, laid a wreath and unveiled a plaque celebrating their reconciliation, which read:

    "On the centenary of the November 11, 1918 armistice, Mr Emmanuel Macron, president of the French Republic, and Mrs Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the federal Republic of Germany, here reaffirmed the value of Franco-German reconciliation in the service of Europe and peace."

    Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump was due to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery on the same day, but called it off because of the rain – something which drew the ire of his critics, who lambasted him for failing to pay his respects to the fallen soldiers.

    READ MORE: Topless Femen Activists Protest Against "War Criminals" in Paris (PHOTOS)

    After the Armistice Day celebrations, President Macron will host the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum, which is aimed at bringing together world leaders and NGOs to address such issues as security, climate change, terrorism, cyberthreats, and other emerging challenges of the 21st century.

    Tags:
    fallen heroes, cemetery, World War I, peace, soldiers, ceasefire, truce, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Germany, France
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