Trump a No-Show at Peace Forum as Nations Rebuke Nationalism

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron accompany U.S. President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump after their lunch at the Elysee Presidential Palace on November 10, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images)

Trump a No-Show at Peace Forum as Nations Rebuke Nationalism

 "The concern I have is that blinkered nationalist views may gain ground once again," warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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 Antonio 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."

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 Timesnoted, 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.

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