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French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism during an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is treason,” Macron said, according to a Euronews translator.
Macron spoke in front of world leaders including President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“If we think our interests may only come first and we don’t care for others, it is a treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values,” he said. “We must remember this.”
Macron said that the moral values of France helped them fight for the future of their country.
He praised the world leaders that formed the first League of Nations, after World War I.
“They imagined the first international corporation, the dismantling of empires, and redefined borders, and dreamed at the time of a union, a political union of Europe,” Macron said.
He lamented that the spirit of revenge and humiliation after World War I sparked renewed nationalism that led to World War II.
Macron defended organizations like the European Union and the United Nations, hailing their ideals despite their “setbacks” over the years. He called for a new era of science-built progress.
“Together we can rise to the challenges of poverty, global warming, disease, inequality, and ignorance,” he said. “And we can win this together, because victory is possible together, together we can break away from the countertruths and injustices, we can counter the extremes which would drive us to war.”
In an interview with CNN, Macron continued his condemnation of nationalism but was hesitant to claim the “globalist” label.
“I would say I’m a patriot,” he said, but added: “I’m not a believer in a sort of globalism without any differentiation. I think it doesn’t — it’s very inconsistent, and it’s extremely — it makes our people very nervous. But I’m not a nationalist, which is very different for me from being a patriot.”