Macron arrives in Germany for the first state visit by a French president in 24 years

Macron arrives in Germany for the first state visit by a French president in 24 years

For the first time in 24 years, a French president has paid a state visit to Germany.

President Emmanuel Macron arrived on Sunday for a three-day trip, intended to emphasise the strong ties between the European Union's leading powers.

Initially set for last July, the visit was postponed due to riots in France following the police killing of a 17-year-old.

While Macron is used to visiting Germany to coordinate EU and foreign policy, this is the first state visit with full ceremonial honours since Jacques Chirac's visit in 2000.

Macron and his wife, Brigitte, were hosted by Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as Germany celebrates the 75th anniversary of its post-World War II constitution.

Steinmeier put on a state banquet for Macron at Bellevue Palace in Berlin Sunday evening.

On Monday, the two presidents will travel to Dresden, where Macron will deliver a speech.

They will visit then Muenster in western Germany on Tuesday.

The state visit will conclude with a meeting between Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and ministers from both countries at a government guest house outside Berlin.

Germany and France, the EU's largest economies, have long been seen as the driving force of European integration, despite occasional policy differences.

This was evident earlier this year when the two countries had differing positions on whether Western countries should rule out sending troops to Ukraine.

Macron did not rule out putting boots on the ground in Ukraine, though Scholz quickly distanced himself from these remarks.

Nonetheless, both nations remain strong supporters of Kyiv.