World leaders mark WWI centenary in sombre Paris ceremony

President Trump criticised for missing war graves visit due to weather

Trump was supposed to participate in a wreath-laying and a moment of silence at the site.

Looking toward his chief of staff, Trump said John Kelly, who served as a general in the Marine Corps, is familiar with the term Devil Dogs.

Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser for President Barack Obama, accused Trump of "blowing off honoring American servicemen who died for us" and said the White House should have had a fallback option.

Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron met Saturday after a public spat over the French leader's suggestion that Europe should rely less on the United States.

Trump, who has pushed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to pay more for their common defense and not rely so heavily on the United States, complained. But he also made clear that the USA was not disengaging, declaring "we want to help". The American president has proudly declared himself a nationalist.

Their meeting Saturday, however, included declarations of friendship but lacked their previous over-the-top displays of warmth.

French President Emmanuel Macron is defending his push for more robust European defense in a meeting with President Donald Trump.

Trump said he and Macron were "getting along from the standpoint of fairness".

Visiting Paris this week, Trump has bemoaned the cost to the U.S. of helping maintain European security, insisting countries here do more to protect themselves. "Let us build our hopes rather than playing our fears against each other", he said.

Trump could not attend a commemoration in France for United States soldiers and marines killed during World War I on Saturday because rain made it impossible to arrange transport, the White House said.

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The two men briefly shook hands and ignored shouted questions about Trump's criticism of his French host he delivered as he landed in Paris the night before.

Over 3,400 people, including veterans of the armed forces of France and its allies, were invited to the ceremony, which began with a rendition of the Marseillaise and a review by Macron of cadets from France's military schools.

Today, the presidential bromance is back in the spotlight amid Trump's visit to Paris and his somewhat angry tweet directed at the French president. "Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States".

Trump did not appear overly eager on Saturday to dispel the notion he is uninterested in bettering US-Europe ties.

The French official, who was not authorized to be publicly named, says Trump lumped together two different comments by the French president.

Macron has repeatedly called for the European Union to build up its defense capabilities in view of Trump's demands that the European Union shoulder more of the financial burden for ensuring its own security.

The spat was the latest between Trump and Macron, who struck up a warm relationship initially but have clashed over a growing list of issues, including Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. "Is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war, in particular that one, which was one of the bloodiest and worst of all time?" he tweeted.

Mr Trump's reaction is likely to add to strains in transatlantic relations, which will be under the spotlight this weekend as 70 world leaders, including Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, gather in Paris to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The centennial is Sunday.

On Saturday, she visited the site of Germany's capitulation at the end of World War I, the first German leader to do in 78 years.

President Trump arrived separately, in a motorcade that drove past two topless protesters with anti-war slogans on their chests who somehow got through the rows of security and were quickly bundled away by police.

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