Trump's nationalism was the target of international rebuke on Sunday as world leaders at the inaugural Paris Peace Forum made bids for global cooperation.
The three-day forum kicked off after a remembrance ceremony in Paris marked 100 years since the end of World War I—with Trump skipping out on a symbolic walk in the rain made by other world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe.
Trump, a self-declared nationalist, was also a no-show at the forum.
Opening the event, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "The concern I have is that blinkered nationalist views may gain ground once again."
"Most of the challenges today cannot be solved by one nation alone, but together. That's why we need a common approach," Merkel told the audience of world leaders. "If isolation wasn't the solution 100 years ago, how can it be today in such an interconnected world?"
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres added that he would "not sit back and watch an assault on multilateralism just when it is most needed," while French President Emmanuel Macron asked, "Will today be a symbol of lasting peace or a last moment of unity before the world falls into more disorder? It depends solely us."
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Progressive independent media doesn’t exist without support from its readers.
There’s no way around it. No ads. No billionaires. Just the people who believe in this mission and our work.
If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to do the kind of watchdog journalism that a healthy democracy requires, please step forward with a donation to non-profit Common Dreams today:
Macron also took aim at Trump at the earlier ceremony on Sunday, saying, "Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism."
"Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values."
"I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death," he warned. "History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again."
As the New York Times noted, while the U.S. president
may have been out of step with many of the leaders gathered around him, Mr. Trump remains at the vanguard of forces that are redefining the Western political paradigm in countries like Poland, Hungary, Italy, and Turkey. In Britain and Germany, two of the Continent's major powers, nationalist movements have upended the establishment.
Trump for his part, also drew criticism over the weekend for missing a planned visit for Saturday to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, about 60 miles northeast of Paris, blaming the rain.