Berlin: Seeking to reinforce bilateral ties, Angela Merkel visited to Paris for a meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, hours after she was sworn for a second time as German Chancellor.
Sarkozy feted the re-elected Merkel in the Elysee Palace as she paid her first official visit to the French leader for a second four-year term.
The heads of state and government of France and Germany have a long tradition of visiting each other as their first foreign trip after taking office.
However, this time Merkel was making a special return visit to Sarkozy, who made it a point to call on her in Berlin in the same evening after becoming the new French President in 2007.
Their personal friendship has further solidified the French-German relations in the past years. "I am receiving a close friend in the Elysee for dinner tonight," Sarkozy said amidst a display of perfect harmony in the relations between the two former world war II enemies, who jointly transformed Europe into a continent of peace and stability and played a central role in building up the EU as an economic power house.
"A day of re-election is a time of happiness and it is especially nice to be a guest among friends on that occasion," Merkel said, responding to the warm reception given to her at the Elysee Palace, which appeared to be a celebration of her second term.
First Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 22:58