PM Netanyahu arrives in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of WWI
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took off Saturday night from Israel to join tens of world leaders at the Paris Peace Forum hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that brought WWI to an end and to honor the millions of soldiers who died in the war.
Netanyahu and Macron are slated to meet on Monday.
Netanyahu had initially hoped to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the international event, but France discouraged such sidebar talks.
According to reports from Russia, Putin declined to meet Netanyahu at the forum.
Netanyahu contemplated canceling his trip to Paris because of the limited possibility of private meetings between leaders at the conference, but ultimately decided to attend.
US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among the dozens of monarchs, heads of state and government due to attend the ceremony, before lunch with Macron at the Elysee Palace.
In a rare public display of emotion by the leaders of two world powers, Macron and Merkel held hands on Saturday during a poignant ceremony in the Compiegne Forest, north of Paris, where French and German delegations signed the Armistice that ended the war.
Anti-Semitic billionaire George Soros and his neo-Marxist organization Open Society are among the donors to the conference. Both Trump and Netanyahu have been vocal critics of Soros in recent years.