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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Seven - 09 May 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Seven - 09 May 2023 - Page 3

Macron to make rare Germany state visit amid friction


French President Emmanuel Macron will make his first state visit to Germany in July, the two countries said Monday, amid persistent tensions on issues ranging from energy policy to China.
Macron will visit Germany from July 2 to 4 at the invitation of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier “to honour the close friendship of the two countries in the 60th year of the Elysee Treaty” on bilateral relations, AFP reported.
It will be the first state visit by a French president in 23 years, Steinmeier’s office said.
Macron will visit “several regions of Germany” with Steinmeier to “underline the unique ties between our states, our citizens and particularly German and French youth”.
“This special event marks the beginning of a new chapter in the decades-old friendship of the two countries,” Berlin said, “as well as the close personal ties” between Steinmeier and Macron.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will travel to Paris this week to prepare the visit, meeting her French counterpart Catherine Colonna on Tuesday and joining a cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday, Macron’s office said.
Colonna is expected in Berlin on Thursday for talks with the foreign ministers of Germany, Jordan and Egypt on the situation in the Middle East.
Macron will then travel to Potsdam outside Berlin to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on June 6 ahead of a series of key events, including the conference for a new global financial pact and a European Union summit in late June, and a NATO summit in July.
The French presidency also announced a meeting of the two governments in the autumn to foster “ever closer cooperation between the two countries”.
The stepped-up diplomacy comes amid friction on a range of issues central to both governments.
Germany’s phase-out of nuclear power as France pursues new construction of reactors has proved contentious in recent months, as have a reform of the EU’s stability and growth pact and major defence acquisition programmes.
Macron meanwhile sparked controversy last month after a visit to China, by saying that Europe should not be a “follower” of either Washington or Beijing, or get caught up in any escalation over the future of Taiwan.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius criticised Macron’s remarks as “unfortunate”, adding: “We have never been in danger of becoming or being a vassal of the United States.”
Chinese visit
Beijing announced Monday that Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang would visit Germany, France and Norway this week, as China pushes to act as a mediator in the Ukraine conflict.
On Monday, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger denied a major rift between Paris and Berlin over China, saying that the two capitals coordinated on policy “more than with hardly any other partner”.
Asked about the chronic differences between the core duo at the heart of the EU, Scholz’s spokesman Steffen Hebestreit insisted that ties were “friendly and built on trust” and that any close relationship needed work.
“It’s like in a good marriage,” he told reporters. “You can always give it fresh impetus so that it remains good and intensive, and that’s the case in the German-Franco relationship.”

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