Macron, Scholz hold informal meeting in Paris with Ukraine top of the agenda

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French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have underscored their close alignment on their mutual response to the war in Ukraine' over a working dinner in Paris.

The two leaders met in Paris on Monday evening, a week after a private dinner on 25 June during the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps.

They had recently travelled together, along with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, to Kyiv on 16 June to show their support for Ukraine and the country's application for membership of the European Union.

Over dinner, the two leaders reportedly discussed "major issues on international, European and bilateral levels".

The EU's independence in respect of energy, defence and access to raw materials, as well as the security situation in the Sahel, was also discussed.

According to the German Chancellor's spokesman, Steffen Hebetsreit: "This kind of meeting is a way of building trust and deepening confidence," coming directly after the NATO summit and the G7 meeting in Elmau.

When asked by a journalist about the advisability of such a trip rather than a video conference for environmental issues, he responded: "It makes a difference when these kinds of talks are held face-to-face rather than virtually."

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