Germany, France set to sign new cooperation accord

January 9, 2019
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives with flowers for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. The flowers are a birthday present for the Government's Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Gruetters. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany and France are set to sign a new bilateral treaty pledging deeper cooperation between the two leading European Union powers.

Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday gave the green light for Chancellor Angela Merkel to sign the agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron in the German city of Aachen on Jan. 22.

That’s the 56th anniversary of the signing of the Elysee Treaty, an accord that sealed the post-World War II reconciliation between the former foes. The German-French partnership has since become the motor of European integration, though one that hasn’t always run smoothly.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the new accord “establishes a new quality of cooperation” between the two countries. It is meant to complement rather than replace the 1963 Elysee Treaty.

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