French, German presidents to jointly mark WWI centenary

10th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

German President Joachim Gauck and his French counterpart Francois Hollande will commemorate the victims of World War I together on August 3 in eastern France, the German president's office said Friday.

"The president will travel to Vieil-Armand on August 3," a spokeswoman for Gauck said, referring to the former battlefield in the French region of Alsace.

Hollande will receive Gauck on the 100th anniversary of the first day of the war at the strategically important mountainous location where German and French soldiers fought during the 1914-18 war.

A national monument to the 30,000 victims now stands at the site, which is known in German as Hartmannsweiler Kopf.

Gauck will travel the following day to Belgium -- invaded by German troops on August 3, 1914 -- at the invitation of King Philippe for a further commemoration, his office said.

And a German-British ceremony at a soldiers' cemetery in Liege, Belgium is also planned.

© 2014 AFP

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