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France's Fillon Says Will Outline EU Plans to Merkel


FILE - Francois Fillon, member of the Les Republicains political party and 2017 presidential candidate, attends an event in Chantenay-Villedieu, France, Dec. 1, 2016. Fillon is a former prime minister.

French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon said on Tuesday he would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the coming days to outline his plans for Europe.

"The election of Donald Trump and the Berlin tragedy change things in Europe," Fillon said, referring both to the U.S. election and the Berlin truck attack claimed by Islamic State.

"For the United States, our continent will likely not be a priority anymore and for Germany, a certain idea of pacifism is gone," said Fillon, the favorite in opinion polls for the April and May presidential election.

"France must seize this opportunity to re-mobilize the European Union around strategic priorities: our collective security, defense, innovation and the re-tightening of the euro zone," he said, before adding he would meet Merkel in the coming days "to spell out to her my orientations for Europe."

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