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Germany's Merkel welcomes idea of European aircraft carrier

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting with the Prime Minister of Latvia, Krisjanis Karins in Berlin, Germany, Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting with the Prime Minister of Latvia, Krisjanis Karins in Berlin, Germany, Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is endorsing the idea of developing a joint European aircraft carrier, as suggested by her party's leader.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeeded Merkel in December as leader of the Christian Democratic Union, made the proposal in a weekend response to French President Emmanuel Macron's proposals for European Union reform. She noted that Germany and France are already working together on a future European combat aircraft.

She said that "the next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier" to underline the EU's global security role.

Merkel said Monday that "it's right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I'm happy to work on it." But she added that "we have to do other things as a priority."

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