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Sarkozy, Merkel to reinforce French-German ties

Sarkozy, Merkel to reinforce French-German ties

President Nicolas Sarkozy will help Germany fete the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall next month while days later Chancellor Angela Merkel will commemorate the World War I armistice in Paris with him, a first for a German leader.
Looking to reinforce ties, Merkel came to Paris for an evening meeting with Sarkozy on Wednesday, hours after she was sworn in for a second term as chancellor and a day ahead of the start of an EU summit.
In brief remarks before their meeting, Sarkozy said he would go to Berlin on Nov. 9 to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Merkel, he said, would then come to Paris on Nov. 11 to join him under the Arc de Triomphe, the site of the tomb of the unknown soldier, to commemorate Armistice Day, which marks the defeat of Germany in 1918.
No chancellor has been present for the solemn day of commemoration that ended what France calls the "great war." The image of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl taking the hand of President Francois Mitterrand in 1984 at a Verdun grave site stands out in the memories in France and Germany.
"We are perfectly conscious of our responsibilities toward our two people and, more largely, toward Europe," Sarkozy said.
Merkel said the new German coalition government plans to focus on issues linked to education, research and economic growth. "And in this domain, it is more useful than ever for Germany and France to intensify their cooperation and common action," she said.
"We are going to strengthen our common approaches toward the young, particularly to prepare the future" of the EU. "France and Germany have an exemplary role to play" in integrating the young generation into the EU, Merkel said.


Updated : 2021-07-24 10:32 GMT+08:00