Updated: 08/05/2014 07:17 | By Agence France-Presse

World leaders mark outbreak of WWI

World leaders on Monday commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I by warning of lessons to be learned in the face of today's many crises, including Ukraine.


World leaders mark outbreak of WWI

Pope Francis waves from a window overlooking Saint Peter's Square during the weekly papal Angelus prayer in Vatican City on August 3, 2014 - by Alberto Pizzoli

"Peace has to be a shared goal," Belgium's King Philippe told leaders gathered in his country's eastern city of Liege. "World War I reminds us to reflect on our responsibility... to bring people together."

Leaders from across Europe -- from Britain and Ireland to Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Malta -- attended the commemoration at the Allied War Memorial of Cointe, a tower complex overlooking the city alongside a weathered grey-stone church painted with white doves for the occasion.

French President Francois Hollande recalled Germany's invasion of neutral Belgium in early August 1914 that turned what had been a localised Balkans war into a global conflagration, raising current day parallels.

"How can we remain neutral today when a people not far from Europe is fighting for their rights?" Hollande said, clearly referring to the Ukraine crisis.

"How can we remain neutral when a civilian airliner is brought down... any other religion, is only allowed to operate in North Korea under extremely tight restrictions, and within the confines of the state-controlled KCA.

It has no hierarchical links with the Vatican and there are no known Catholic priests or nuns.

The KCA claims 3,000 followers in the North but outside estimates put the figure at around 800.

A recent comprehensive report compiled by a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights in North Korea concluded that practising Christianity outside the state-sanctioned church amounted to a "political crime".

The Pope's final mass, to be held in Seoul's Myeongdong cathedral, will focus on a message of peace and reconciliation for the Korean peninsula.

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