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Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron meet on Thursday in a medieval island fortress in the Mediterranean to chart the next steps for a partnership that is the driving force behind the European Union.

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Inside the walls of Fort de Bregancon, traditional summer residence of French leaders, the German chancellor and French president will tackle the most pressing issues on the global agenda.

Lebanon, anti-government protests in Belarus, the COVID-19 crisis, Mali's coup d'etat, and tensions between Greece and Turkey will be discussed, according to an official in the French presidential administration.

At the same time Merkel – mindful of her legacy as her 15 years in power draw to an end – is seeking to cement progress on some long-standing objectives, away from the day-to-day drama of international affairs.

Fort Bregancon, the Mediterranean castle hosting Macron-Merkel summit

These include, according to two senior German government sources, deciding what relationship Europe should have with a resurgent China, re-imagining the shape of the EU after Britain's exit, and carving out a role for Europe as a defence power to match is economic might.

"Both (Merkel and Macron) are aware that the EU is in a crucial period and that France and Germany – even thougRead More – Source