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France's Fillon says to outline EU plans to Merkel

PARIS 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 favourite in opinion polls for the April and May presidential election.

“France must seize this opportunity to re-mobilise the European Union around strategic priorities: our collective security, defence, 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.”

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Simon Carraud; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)