Merkel meeting French PM Dominique de Villepin

18th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 January 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have talks later Wednesday with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin expected to focus on the European Union as well as the growing crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, officials said.

18 January 2006

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have talks later Wednesday with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin expected to focus on the European Union as well as the growing crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, officials said.

De Villepin, who is on a one-day visit to Berlin, was also making a speech on the EU to students at the Humboldt University.

Merkel is due to meet French President Jacques Chirac in Paris on January 23.

The new German leader insists she wants to maintain close Franco- German ties.

But the tight political friendship between Chirac and former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder - forged during their joint opposition to the Iraq war - is unlikely be repeated under Merkel given her determination to improve relations with both the US and Britain.

DPA

Subject: German news

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