Middle East, Ukraine and EU strengthening at the center of the meeting between Macron and Scholz

Middle East, Ukraine and EU strengthening at the center of the meeting between Macron and Scholz
Middle East, Ukraine and EU strengthening at the center of the meeting between Macron and Scholz

The conflict in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine and the desire to “create a Europe that is stronger economically and independent from other countries”: these were the themes at the center of today’s meeting between the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the French president Emmanuel Macron, which took place on the sidelines of the Franco-German Council of Ministers today in Meseberg, in the federal state of Brandenburg. In a press conference following the meeting, Macron and Scholz said they viewed the situation in the Middle East “with great concern” following the Rafah attack. The chancellor reiterated that Israel must “respect international law and guarantee humanitarian aid to people in need in Gaza.” Macron echoed the chancellor’s words by stating that “today there are no safe zones for Palestinian civilians.” However, both leaders agreed that a Palestinian state should only be recognized “at the right time”. “There is no taboo for France and I am totally ready to recognize a Palestinian state,” declared Macron, adding that however this recognition must be part of a process in which Israel and the countries of the region are committed to arriving at a “useful result ”.

Referring to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict Macron underlined that Kiev’s Armed Forces must be able to “neutralize” the Russian bases from where the missiles launch. “How do you explain to the Ukrainians that these cities must be protected if they are told: ‘You have no right’ to hit the point from where the missiles are launched?”, Macron continued in the press conference. The president also confirmed that the head of the Ukrainian state, Volodymyr Zelensky, will attend the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Macron and Scholz finally reiterated their desire to discuss “a new agenda for competitiveness and growth” of the EU.

”Europe must strengthen its capabilities and reduce strategic dependencies. We need a stronger common internal market so that companies can develop innovative products and services here. We want and must guarantee Europe’s competitiveness and this requires investments, especially private ones given that too many savings flow abroad instead of being invested in the EU. We both agree that we finally need an integrated European financial market,” said Scholz. France and Germany want a “European savings product aimed at using private capital for growth”, underlined Macron, who criticized the fact that hundreds of billions of euros “leave European soil” to be invested in the United States.

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