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Paying a visit to our closest friend: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock travels to Paris

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her french counterpart Catherine Collona at the College et Lycee public Montaigne in Paris

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her french counterpart Catherine Collona at the College et Lycee public Montaigne in Paris, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de

20.11.2022 - Article

In France, it’s known as the couple franco-allemand – whereas in Germany, it’s referred to as the Franco-German engine. But these terms mean the same thing, namely that no two countries enjoy closer cooperation and friendship than do France and Germany.

On Sunday (20 November), Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock travelled to Paris, where on Monday (21 November) she is meeting with her French counterpart Catherine Colonna and will be participating in the third ministerial conference of the Moldova Support Platform.

Germany has no closer links than those with France. We coordinate our activities more closely with France than with any other country. The Franco-German friendship is at the core of our political identity. - Foreign Minister Baerbock

However, ties between Germany and France extend well beyond the political level: they range from the joint TV channel ARTE to the AbiBac school-leaving certificate to 2300 Franco-German partnerships between towns, German Länder and French regions. In all of these cases, it is the people themselves who are filling the two countries’ friendship with life. In this spirit, Foreign Ministers Annalena Baerbock and Catherine Colonna will spend the morning talking to pupils at a Paris secondary school about the future of the Franco-German friendship and the European Union.

Despite a shared history marked by suffering, war and bitter rivalry, people on both sides of the Rhine are so closely connected and interlinked in today’s common Europe that they can actually no longer do anything without each other. The fact that our peoples enjoy such a close and warm relationship despite all the cultural differences is a magnificent success and remains the cornerstone of our cooperation. - Foreign Minister Baerbock, prior to her departure for Paris

Standing shoulder to shoulder in support of the peaceful order in Europe

Since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the peaceful order in Europe has been coming under attack, quite literally and on a daily basis. Millions of people have had to leave Ukraine in search of a safe place outside of their home country. As a result, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine’s small neighbour, has faced particular challenges for a number of months now. It has provided a temporary home to nearly 100,000 Ukrainians.

The Republic of Moldova imports 80% of its natural gas from Russia and has been experiencing a severe energy crisis since Russian companies have drastically reduced their gas supplies to the country. During the first conference in support of the Republic of Moldova that was held in Berlin in March of this year, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock established the Moldova Support Platform. A follow‑up conference in this format was later held in Bucharest.

On Monday, France will be hosting the third conference of the Moldova Support Platform. It serves as a framework for international partners through which the Republic of Moldova can be provided with the aid it most urgently requires. In addition, the meeting is an opportunity to look beyond the country’s immediate emergency situation to what it will require in the longer term, for example with regard to meeting its security needs.

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