May 12, 2017 / 11:44 AM / 2 years ago

France's Macron meets Merkel Monday, French troops abroad soon after

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony at the Luxembourg Gardens to mark the abolition of slavery and to pay tribute to the victims of the slave trade, in Paris, France, May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Berlin Monday, a day after his inauguration as French president, aims at stressing the importance of the relationship with Germany to relaunch the European project, an aide to Macron said, confirming the visit.

“We want to work together on a few priorities: security, economy, investment and social protection,” the aide told Reuters on Friday.

Like outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande in 2012, Macron’s Monday meeting with Merkel will be his first overseas port of call since winning the May 7 election.

His aide, who declined to be identified, said Macron would also visit French troops abroad “very quickly” after Berlin.

France has thousands of troops spanning across West Africa hunting down Islamist militants, including bases in Mali and Chad.

It also has bases in Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates as well as small contingents in Jordan and northern Iraq as part of a U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in the region.

Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by John Irish

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