French, German mini-summit underway

26th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN, Oct 26 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin entered talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder here on Tuesday at a one-day mini-summit between the two countries.

BERLIN, Oct 26 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin entered talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder here on Tuesday at a one-day mini-summit between the two countries.

Schroeder and Chirac were to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later in the day for discussions about Turkey's bid to enter European Union membership talks that Erdogan described as "very important".

But the German government has been at pains to stress that the Franco-German meetings should be seen as a separate issue, and are essential to reinforce links between the EU powerhouses and neighbours.

On the agenda are discussions about the reform of the Lisbon Strategy, the EU's 10-year plan to rival the United States in economic terms, which begin with a meeting late Monday between Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.

Details of that meeting were to be made public when Schroeder and Chirac give a joint press conference later on Tuesday.

The leaders will also discuss major international issues including Iraq. France and Germany led opposition to the US-led war on Iraq and both refuse to send troops there now.

The summit was also to see the adoption of joint measures to boost the learning of the French language in Germany and of German in France.

Currently, only 10 percent of French school pupils are learning German while 24 percent of German pupils are learning French, a situation Chirac has described as "a black mark in our fraternity".

© AFP

Subject: French News

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