30 January 2013

Mali and Football On Agenda for Merkel Paris Visit Next Wednesday

Angela Merkel and François Hollande are set to discuss the war in Mali and attend a France-Germany football match when the German Chancellor visits Paris next Wednesday, diplomats said Wednesday.

Germany has given only lukewarm support to the French offensive in Mali, restricting its participation to the provision of some troop transporters, so, while the French president is sure to raise the question, the discussion may not be somewhat chilly.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss Europe's troubled economy and the summit on the 2014-2020 budget that is to take place two days later.

Two seats have been booked at the Stade de France for the evening's Germnay-France match, diplomats report.

Hollande is a longstanding football fan, while Merkel is a staunch supporter of her national team.

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