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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 09:00 AM

France and Germany mark Elysee pact's 50 anniversary (that helped to reconcile the two former foes)

France and Germany are marking the 50th anniversary of a treaty that helped to reconcile the two former foes.

The German and French leaders have been holding talks in Berlin and there will also be a joint session of the two countries' parliaments.

Despite ups and downs in the relationship, Berlin and Paris have been key shapers of the European Union.

De Gaulle described Europe as "a coach and horses, with Germany the horse and France the coachman", and the co-operation between the two nations has been the foundation stone of the European project, the BBC's Europe editor Gavin Hewitt says.

50 years of friendship

The 1963 Elysee Treaty was a milestone for France and Germany, who had fought three bloody wars in 70 years
The two became the "motor" behind EU integration and enlargement
Diplomatically, they stood together in opposition to the Iraq invasion of 2003
Since the creation of the Franco-German Brigade, a battalion of German troops has been based in Illkirch in eastern France


Nice to see a commemoration of the progress that has occurred in the relationship between France and Germany since the middle of the last century.

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