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ANGELA MERKEL

Hollande, Cameron and Merkel set for Egypt talks

French President François Hollande will discuss the crisis in Egypt with British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday afternoon, after warning on Thursday that "everything must be done to avoid civil war."

Hollande, Cameron and Merkel set for Egypt talks
File photo: Pascal Segrette

Hollande was set to hold talks with Cameron by telephone at 6.30 pm French time, the president’s office told AFP.

The talks will come after similar discussions between Hollande and Merkel due at 2pm French time, after the French leader on Thursday warned of the threat of “civil war” in Egypt.

“Everything must be done to avoid a civil war,” Hollande said, as a crackdown by security forces on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi has left over 500 dead.

Hollande called for an immediate halt to the bloodshed, his office said in a statement, echoing strong international condemnation of Wednesday’s day of violence, the worst in Egypt in decades.

Hollande summoned the Egyptian ambassador to convey France’s “great concern over the tragic events”, the statement said, adding that the president urged Egypt’s rulers to swiftly end a month-long state of emergency imposed in the wake of the crackdown.

“France is committed to finding a political solution and calls for elections to be held as soon as possible, in line with the commitments made by Egypt’s transitional authorities,” it said.

The unrest kicked off at dawn on Wednesday when security forces moved in to break up the protest camps of Morsi loyalists in Cairo, and the violence quickly spread across the country.

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ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday

French President Emmanuel Macron will have dinner with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday - the first time this year the German chancellor has received a foreign leader in person, her spokeswoman said.

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Pool Getty Images/AP | Leon Neal

The working dinner at the chancellery will focus on “European policy issues”, government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said on Monday.

Talks will focus on the “coordination between Germany and France” ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on June 24-25, she said.

The dinner meeting comes after G7 leaders gathered in England at the weekend for their first in-person summit in almost two years.

VIDEO: Watch Merkel’s funniest moments 

World leaders were also meeting in Brussels on Monday for the first NATO summit with US President Joe Biden.

Subjects on the agenda included how to deal with China’s rise and confronting an emboldened Russia, ahead of a meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

At the EU summit, leaders are due to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, migration and external relations, including with Turkey and Russia.

At an online Franco-German council of ministers in May, Macron paid tribute to the German chancellor, who is bowing out of politics this year after 16 years in power.

“This last council allows me to say how much the Franco-German relationship owes to your commitment, your willingness to take action, sometimes your patience with us, and your ability to listen,” Macron said.

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