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16:05, 20 September 2017 Wednesday
14:43, 16 July 2017 Sunday

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Macron outshines Merkel as EU's top diplomat
Macron outshines Merkel as EU's top diplomat

Striking images from Paris this week offered signs of how Europe's de-facto leadership has started to mutate in the two months since Macron took office.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany has for years longed for a stronger French partner, but may have got more than it bargained for as the self-confident Emmanuel Macron takes Europe's spotlight.

The 39-year-old French president welcomed US President Donald Trump to Paris for dinner in the Eiffel Tower and the traditional July 14 military parade.

The smiles and glad-handing between the two men contrasts starkly with Trump's dour relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The abiding image thus far has been his apparent refusal to shake her hand on her first Washington visit following his inauguration -- and the tensions remained on display at this month's G20 summit in Hamburg which Merkel chaired.

Macron has also reached eastwards, hosting Russian leader Vladimir Putin amid the spectacular surroundings of Versailles in late May.

Macron is showing that "France is back in the game," said Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert Schuman foundation, a specialist European think-tank.

"There's a rebalancing -- which was necessary -- of the relationship with Germany," he added.



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