France - Germany

German troops back on French soil

Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

A battalion of German troops is to be stationed in Alsace, eastern France, on Friday for the first time since World War II. French Defence Minister Alan Juppé and his German counterpart Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg are attending a ceremony to mark the event.


The battalion will eventually consist of 600 soldiers from the Franco-German brigade, stationed at Illkirch-Graffenstaden outside Strasbourg.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to the move last year, as a gesture of friendship.

German soldiers have been arriving since April and took part in Armistice Day commemorations alongside French troops on 11 November.

Two French regiments are stationed in Germany.

Sarkozy and Merkel, meanwhile, are meeting in Fribourg on Friday to prepare joint Franco-German positions for next week's European Union summit.



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