Macron and Merkel try to showcase EU unity as Brexit looms

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives for a dinner to discuss European matters ahead of next week’s EU Summit, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 13, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2019

Macron and Merkel try to showcase EU unity as Brexit looms

  • The leaders on Wednesday will first visit Airbus headquarters, as a symbol of European industrial cooperation
  • The French and German delegations, including key ministers from both governments, will discuss global trade tensions

TOULOUSE: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are meeting in southern France, one day before a key EU summit that may approve a divorce deal with Britain.

The leaders on Wednesday will first visit Airbus headquarters, as a symbol of European industrial cooperation, before holding bilateral talks and a French-German Cabinet meeting in the city of Toulouse.

Macron and Merkel will discuss Brexit as EU and British officials scramble to make a deal before Thursday’s summit in Brussels — the last before the U.K’s scheduled departure from the EU on Oct. 31.

The French and German delegations, including key ministers from both governments, will also discuss global trade tensions, the fight against climate change, European defense projects and how to defend EU copyright rules, Macron’s office said.


Afghans honor Japanese aid worker killed in ambush

Updated 59 min 14 sec ago

Afghans honor Japanese aid worker killed in ambush

  • On Saturday, in a memorial ceremony after accompanying the body to Kabul airport, Ghani called Nakamura a hero
  • “Nakamura was a great personality who dedicated his life to the goodness and strengthening of Afghanistan’s deprived people,” Ghani said

KABUL: A 73-year-old Japanese aid worker killed in an ambush outside Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan has been described as a “hero” by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Testu Nakamura and five fellow aid workers died when gunmen attacked their car on Wednesday.
Tributes to the popular aid worker continued to pour in on Saturday with candlelight vigils held in different areas of the country. Schools erected posters of the aid worker while the national airline displayed images of him on its aircraft. 
“The level of grief and respect expressed by Afghans show how much people loved him. None of our current leaders would receive so much respect and attention should any of them die like this Japanese aid worker,” Rasoul Dad, a civil servant, told Arab News on Saturday.
Nakamura’s wife, daughter and three of his colleagues, including a childhood friend, arrived in Kabul on Friday as the Afghan government prepared to return his body to Japan.
The Afghan leader met them at the presidential palace and described Nakamura as a “hardworking personality.”
On Saturday, in a memorial ceremony after accompanying the body to Kabul airport, Ghani called Nakamura a hero.
“Nakamura was a great personality who dedicated his life to the goodness and strengthening of Afghanistan’s deprived people,” Ghani said.
The Afghan national flag was placed on Nakamura’s coffin as his family, accompanied by Japanese Ambassador Mitsuji Suzuka, left for Japan.
Nakamura, who spent more than half his life helping Afghan refugees as a doctor in Peshawar and later worked on several projects in the country, has become a national hero for many Afghans.
He was granted honorary citizenship several years ago after deciding to remain in the country despite the attempted abduction and murder of one of his colleagues.