Germany, France mark 50 years of reconciliation accord with Cabinet, Parliament gatherings
On January 22, 1963, Germany and France sealed their friendship with the Elysee Treaty.
BERLIN – Germany and France are marking 50 years of an accord that enshrined the two former adversaries’ post-World War II reconciliation with a joint Cabinet meeting and a joint session of the countries’ parliaments.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande are leading Tuesday’s ceremonies at the chancellery and the Reichstag Parliament building. The 1963 Elysee Treaty marked a milestone for two countries that had fought three wars in 70 years. Since then, they’ve co-operated closely on economic and cultural issues.
Germany and France have driven closer European political integration but have been sparring recently over how to resolve the continent’s debt crisis. Germany is also making only a small contribution so far to France’s intervention to drive back Islamist extremists in Mali.
The Elysee Treaty
The Elysee Treaty was signed on a cold winter day in Paris, at the official residence of the French president, the Elysee Palace. Eighteen years after the end of World War II, the two neighboring countries were pledging to discuss all important policy matters, including those related to foreign affairs, defense, education, youth and culture.
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Population: 81,305,856 (July 2012 est.)
Germany is slightly smaller than the size of the state of Montana, USA
Population: 65,630,692 (July 2012 est.)
France is slightly less than the size of the state of Texas, USA.
Germany and France have a combined population of 146,936,548
Russia has a population of 142,517,670 (July 2012 est.) United Kingdom has a population of 63,047,162 (July 2012 est.)
Italy has a population of 61,261,254 (July 2012 est.)
United States has a population of 315,204,889 (Jan 23, 2013 est)
Brazil has a population of 199,321,413 (July 2012 est.)
Mexico has a population of 114,975,406 (July 2012 est.)
Nigeria has a population of 170,123,740 (July 2012 est.)
After World War II the security of Germany was taken care of by the four Allied Powers: the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the USSR. The Bundeswehr is the current armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany.
France was the 4th country to independently develop nuclear weapons in 1960, under the government of Charles de Gaulle.