Centenary of the 1918 Armistice: Macron and Merkel Celebrate Franco-German Reconciliation

One hundred years after the end of the First World War, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel celebrated the Franco-German reconciliation on Saturday, November 10th. In the Rethondes clearing (Compiègne, Oise), the German president and German chancellor unveiled a commemorative plaque reaffirming "the value of Franco-German reconciliation in the service of Europe and peace".

After a tender embrace, the two leaders laid a common wreath before signing the Golden Book in a replica of the wagon where were signed the armistice of November 11, 1918 and that of June 22, 1940. "What we need" to "those who died by millions in barbarism" is "to continue tirelessly to build peace," said Emmanuel Macron during an exchange with adolescents.

Ceremony of 11-November. "Our Europe for 73 years is at peace, and it is unprecedented (…) in the first place because Germany and France wanted it," said the head of state. More than three million French and German soldiers were killed during the First World War in battles that mostly took place in the trenches of northern France and Belgium.

Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel will meet again Sunday for the traditional ceremony of 11-November under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in the presence of sixty heads of state and government, including Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. The German Chancellor will open in the afternoon the first edition of the "Forum for Peace", which will not be attended by Donald Trump.

The final part of the commemorations will take place on Sunday 18 November in Berlin, where Emmanuel Macron will give a speech "focused on the Franco-German couple" in the Bundestag before making a point with Angela Merkel on the agreement concluded in June in Meseberg to strengthen European integration.

(With Reuters)

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