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Macron makes rare state visit to Germany to boost ties, defend democracy

Macron makes rare state visit to Germany to boost ties, defend democracy

For the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, a French president visits Berlin to warm frosty ties.

Emmanuel Macron has initiated the initial state visit to Germany by a French president in 24 years, aiming to enhance relations between the two nations and underscore the significance of safeguarding democracy against nationalism in the upcoming European elections.

“Franco-German relations are essential and crucial for Europe,” stated Macron at the commencement of his three-day state visit to Germany on Sunday. He dismissed any notion that the relationship, frequently referred to as the driving force of Europe, has started to falter.

“That is not true. We are moving forward,” Macron affirmed through a translator.

Upon his arrival in Berlin, Macron promptly proceeded to the German capital’s governmental district to convene with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and participate in a festival centered on democracy.

Steinmeier welcomed Macron, hailing his visit as “evidence of the depth of the Franco-German friendship.” He remarked that despite occasional disparities on specific policy matters, Berlin and Paris consistently “find common ground in the end.”

The French president underscored the significance of the upcoming European elections in June, portraying the European Union as a guardian of democracy and shared values. He cautioned against a “growing fascination with authoritarianism” within the EU member states. “We often overlook that it’s an ongoing battle,” Macron emphasized, regarding the protection of democracy.

Macron asserted that had nationalists held sway in Europe in recent years, pivotal historical events, such as decisions regarding the coronavirus pandemic or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, would have unfolded differently.

Echoing Macron’s sentiments, the German president highlighted that rights “were not simply bestowed upon us,” emphasizing the necessity to continually advocate for them.

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