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German troops to come to France

Alsace or Lorraine could be first German military base in France since 1945.

GERMAN soldiers will set up a military base in France for the first time since the end of the Second World War.

While exact details have yet to be concluded, a battalion of 450-800 soliders is due to be based in Alsace or Lorraine, a historically long-disputed territory between the two countries.

An official statement from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Sarkozy is expected at a security conference in Munich this weekend.

The two heads of state published a joint column in Le Monde heralding “the importance of this new step in Franco-German friendship.”

The decision comes after French military restructuring has ruled that several bases in the north east of the country should close and troops should move out of Germany.

The decision put the future of the 5,000-strong French-German brigade (2,300 French soliders) in doubt. The bridage was founded 20 years ago and has been on missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Its main units are currently stationed in the German towns of Donaueschingen, Muellheim and Immendingen.

The gesture comes just two months before the 60th anniversary of the founding of Nato on April 4.

Photo:sxc ijsendoorn

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