- Angela Merkel - France - Germany - Nicolas Sarkozy - World War I
Former foes unite in Paris to mark end of World War I
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken part in ceremonies in Paris to honour the victims of World War I alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy, becoming the first German leader to do so.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Wednesday to mark 91 years since the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918.
The event came just two days after the pair attended massive ceremonies in Berlin to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Armistice Day ceremonies has gradually shifted towards a new era of Franco-German friendship after decades of hostility. This year's event marked the first time a German leader took part in the commemorations with the French head of state.
Speaking in turn, Angela Merkel stressed that Germany “will never forget the suffering inflicted by Germans on the French people”.
“To deal with our own history is the only way to draw the lessons necessary to shape the future”, she declared, adding that “the force of reconciliation will enable us to take up new challenges, together”.
Both leaders ended their speeches with the phrase: "Long live France, long live Germany, long live Franco-German friendship".