Sarkozy heads to Berlin on first foreign trip

16th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday travelled to Berlin for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, making his first trip abroad just hours after he took over from Jacques Chirac.

PARIS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday travelled to Berlin for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, making his first trip abroad just hours after he took over from Jacques Chirac.

Over a working dinner they were to discuss Sarkozy's proposals for re-launching Europe after French and Dutch voters rejected an EU constitution in referendums two years ago.

The new president has proposed a mini-treaty for the European Union comprised of the bare essentials of the failed constitution to allow the institutions of the 27-nation bloc to function fully.

"I will fight for a Europe that protects because the European ideal is to protect the citizens of Europe," Sarkozy said earlier after taking office during a formal ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace.

Merkel on Tuesday said in Brussels that she looked forward to discussing with Sarkozy his plan to renew the EU's "capacity for action."

"I am very happy that, during the electoral campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy said he would invest the EU with a capacity for action. We will now see how he plans to make that work," she told reporters.

Merkel said she and Sarkozy would discuss "current issues and the preparation of the European Council in June," at which Germany hopes to obtain agreement among the 27 EU member states on the main planks of a new European treaty.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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