Home » Strasbourg Baden-Baden 2009  


Watch also...


France beats out Germany to host 2009 NATO summit


France scored a major political coup by beating out neighboring Germany to host next year's NATO summit, marking the 60th anniversary of the western military alliance, the weekly Der Spiegel news magazine reported Saturday.

Even though the German government has denied plans for such a summit, it had reportedly started its preparations to host the festivities.

At least two sites, the Meseburg guest house of the government near Berlin and the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm, were in the running to host the 2009 meeting of NATO leaders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was even willing to accommodate French President by holding the summit in the Franco-German border region in the French city of Strasbbourg and the German town of Kehl.

According to Der Spiegel, Sarkozy prefers to host the summit in Paris where the French leader is to declare his country's return into NATO military structures.

France left NATO in 1966 following an order by then-president Charles de Gaulle.

Berlin and Paris have been openly vying for the European Union leadership in recent months.

Merkel has been at odds with Sarkozy on several issues including the president's plans for the creation of a Mediterranean Union as a counterpart to the European Union, France's controversial nuclear exports to Arab countries and differences over the degree of autonomy of the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank.

[Berlin, March 8, IRNA]

Source: IRNA