Mali, Belarus on agenda as Merkel to visit Macron at summer retreat

245 views | Doris Emmanuel | August 20, 2020

Mali, tensions in the Mediterranean and measures to control the coronavirus are expected to be on the agenda on Thursday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at his Mediterranean residence of Fort de Bregancon.

Despite Merkel’s strong relationships with several French presidents during her time in office, it’s the first time she has been invited to the traditional summer retreat of the French presidency.

The last visit to the seaside fortress by a chancellor was in 1985, by Helmut Kohl.

The two are expected to discuss the coronavirus crisis, especially since they were both instrumental in pushing through an EU-wide deal last month that saw member countries approve the joint issuance of debt for the first time, in an effort to provide funds for countries hardest hit by the virus’ spread.

The two are also likely to discuss political instability in Lebanon, the ongoing war in Libya, political unrest in Belarus after a disputed election and growing tensions in the Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey about the right to prospect for oil.

Macron has been active in trying to seek solutions in Lebanon and Libya, while Merkel has mediated in the Mediterranean issue.

The question of Mali will probably be a last-minute addition to the agenda, after a military coup there seems to have led to the incarceration of the president and prime minister.

France has spearheaded a military mission against terrorism in the region, which has had many of its troops based in Mali.

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