Macron and Merkel launch initiative to confront extremism

PARIS / BERLIN — On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched an initiative to confront what they referred to as Islamic extremism.

After recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria, European leaders are increasingly worried about the danger posed by religious extremism. Macron and Merkel will gather European leaders together on Tuesday to discuss their initiative to confront extremism.

Reuters reported that Merkel will participate in a phone conversation with other European leaders, including Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel, to discuss the initiative, according to two of the participants in a phone conversation with the leadership of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

In related news, Merkel made a phone conversation with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, during which the King Salman affirmed Riyadh’s condemnation of both the insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and the terrorist attacks in Europe.

He also stressed the need to confront all forms of extremism and terrorism, affirming that freedom of expression should be a moral value that promotes respect and coexistence among peoples, not a tool for spreading hatred and cultural clashes.