Ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, he will hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 16. The meeting is supposed to revolve around Brexit and the Syrian crisis. The respective governments will also hold a joint ministerial meeting in Toulouse, France, to discuss various proposals.
Macron’s office said that there will be discussions on rising global trade tensions, the fight against climate change, and European defence projects. Macron will be visiting Brussels for a key summit where the EU and British officials will try to finalise a deal for impending Brexit. The French President’s visit also becomes important after the candidature of Sylvie Goulard, France’s nominee, for the next European Commissioner, was rejected by the EU.
Earlier on October 13, Macron and Merkel called for an end to Turkish incursion in Syria on October 13, with the former calling it an “unbearable humanitarian situation”. According to a Chinese news agency, Macron said they have a common desire that the Syrian offensive ends. The French President condemned the incursion earlier saying the Syrian offensive “poses a humanitarian risk to millions of people.”
France and Germany also decided to temporarily suspend the export of war materials, joining other European countries including the Netherlands, Norway, and Finland in such sanction. Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas took to Twitter to announce the latest decision of the government on arms export.
“Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the federal government will not issue new permits for all military equipment that could be deployed by Turkey in Syria,” wrote Maas.
France took a similar stand on the export of war materials to Turkey. French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said,
“Pending the cessation of the Turkish offensive in North-East Syria, France has decided to suspend any plans to export to Turkey war materials that could be used in the context of this offensive. This decision is of immediate effect.”