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Germany, France sign new accord pledging deeper ties

By IANS Updated: Jan 22, 2019 9:12 pm
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron stand together after signing the new Germany-France friendship treaty at the historic Town Hall in Aachen, Germany on Tuesday.

Aachen (Germany), Jan. 22 (IANS): German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday deepened their bilateral ties with the signing of a new friendship treaty that the two powerhouses hope will give fresh impetus to their position as the linchpins of the EU.
Merkel and Macron met in the German city of Aachen on the French border where both penned their names on the new treaty, a symbolic extension of the post-war reconciliation Élysée Treaty signed on this day in 1963, Efe news reported.
“With the Aachen treaty, we renew the foundation of cooperation between our two countries,” Merkel said during the ceremony at Aachen’s city hall.

She added that, in view of the past wars fought between the neighbouring countries, their current relationship was something that could not be taken for granted and that it had been the fruit of hard work in the aftermath of World War II (1939-45). Both Germany and France hoped the treaty would deliver fresh impetus against rising sentiments of nationalism and populism that are seen as a threat to the integrity of the bloc.

Merkel warned against the political forces behind the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Macron hailed the treaty as opening a new chapter between the countries. European Commission, European Council and Romanian Presidents — Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Klaus Iohannis respectively — were all in attendance.

The treaty came ahead of the European parliamentary elections slated for May and included measures to strengthen ties in the ambits of security, economic cooperation, technology, foreign policy, education, culture and climate change.
The original Élysée Treaty — signed by France and West Germany — sought to end decades of enmity between the nations, who had fought against each other in both World War I and in World War II.

By IANS Updated: Jan 22, 2019 9:12:42 pm