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Presidents Niinistö and Macron meet in Paris

Finland is represented in the annual military parade along with other members of the European Intervention Initiative.

Emmanuel Macron ja Sauli Niinistö tervehtivät toisiaan Elysee-palatsin edessä Pariisissa isänpäivänä 11. marraskuuta.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the Élysée Palace in Paris on November 11, 2018. Image: Jacques Demarthon / AFP

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö meets on Sunday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris as the country celebrates its national day, known as Bastille Day.

Finland is represented in the traditional military parade on the Champs-Élysées, along with the other countries that have joined the French-led European Intervention Initiative.

Four service members from the Finnish Defence Forces are marching in the parade, carrying a Finnish flag, along with some 4,000 others.

The EII plan, proposed by Macron two years ago, is intended to boost European defence cooperation. So far 10 EU countries have signed on, including the UK, Germany, Estonia and Denmark. Finland, the only non-Nato member, joined last November.

Talks and lunch

After the procession Niinistö will join a lunch hosted by Macron and meet with him one-on-one.

The two met in Helsinki last August during Macron's official visit to Finland and again in Paris last November during commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

France's national day commemorates 14 July 1789 when a crowd stormed the Bastille Fortress to release political prisoners. Although only a few people were being held, it was key event in the French Revolution.

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